Friends Central

"The One With Ross' Tan" is the third episode of the tenth season of Friends, which aired on October 9, 2003.


Jealous of Monica's spray-on tan on her legs, Ross tries to get one himself. However, he gets the procedure wrong, spraying himself twice in the front after counting to five in Mississippi before it starts to spray again. He tries to patch it up with another tanning session, but he gets two more spray tans in the front. By the end of the episode, Ross looks nothing less than half a golliwog doll. Chandler makes sure this tan is a memorable one for Ross by tricking him into believing he got super tanned too, and then taking a picture of it.

Phoebe and Monica's old roommate, Amanda, comes to visit. Amanda, a New Yorker (from Yonkers), has picked up a British accent and is pretty much of an ego-centric, but in spite of her annoying nature, the two still catch up with her so as not to hurt her feelings when Chandler takes a phone call from her, bemusing her by informing her that he takes pedicures in the process. Amanda inadvertently lets out that Phoebe wanted to cut Monica out of her life in 1992. Monica is upset about this, but Phoebe explains to her how although Monica had been driving her mad by being "controlling and compulsive and shrill" at first, she eventually saw that Monica was a really nice person despite all of these things and she's glad now that she changed her mind about cutting Monica out of her life. The two make up.

Rachel and Joey have their first date. Joey, a specialist in the stuff after the date, tries to lay the groundwork with Rachel, but she keeps slapping his hand away and Joey cannot seem to undo her bra. After talking about it with Monica, Rachel and Joey "power through". Completely taken by the excitement of their first time, Rachel, while climbing onto Joey, accidentally sinks her knee into his groin, preventing him from performing. The two stop to reflect on their sexless experience and how this affects their relationship, and when they talk to Chandler about it, they realize that their friendship is too strong for them to take it beyond. The two break up amicably.

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

Jennifer Coolidge - Amanda Buffamonteezi
Luis Antonio Ramos - The Tanning Salon Guy


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Brian Buckner


  • This is the first episode to not feature Charlie since she was introduced in "The One With The Soap Opera Party" (S9E20).
  • Joey & Rachel realize neither of them had paid for dinner. This joke was made before in "The One With All The Cheesecakes" (S7E11). In that episode, it's Chandler and Rachel who forgot to pay for lunch.  
  • When Amanda says "Oh bugger. I feel like a perfect arse", the camera moves, due to the camera man laughing along with the audience.
    • Lisa Kudrow struggled to maintain her composure, bursting into laughter during every take of that line. This is seen in the season 10 blooper reel on DVD.
  • Joey is Rachel's last boyfriend before getting together with Ross for good in the series finale. Ross and Charlie break up three episodes after this episode.
  • The Magna Doodle has a drawing of a teddy bear and the name "Emma".
  • Chandler tells Ross "you can do a duet of Ebony and Ivory all by yourself". Ebony and Ivory was a song recorded by Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder in 1981.
  • The scene where Rachel successfully removes her bra through her sleeve is a callback to "The One With The Fake Party" when she tried unsuccessfully to do the same thing in an effort to seduce Joshua.
  • Jennifer Coolidge who played Amanda returns as Joey's Manager Bobbie in the spin off series Joey.


  • When Joey and Rachel walk in from their date, you can see an entire chunk of wall missing next to the door, where a picture typically hangs. Without the picture, you can see through the hallway to Monica's door.
  • At the start, after Chandler says "are you trying to do a British accent?" it cuts to Monica's face and you can see Chandler saying the same line with no sound.
  • At the start, the lid on Joey's bottle is on and off depending on the shot.
  • When Rachel is talking to Monica about how weird the thing with Joey was, behind her in a yellow vase, you can see a huge light blur reflected from a stage light.
  • In the scene where Joey and Rachel are sitting on the couch and talk to Chandler, the pillow Rachel holds changes position and orientation when the camera angle changes.
  • In the scene where Joey and Rachel are sitting on the couch in their apartment after they decide their relationship is hopeless Rachel puts her head on Joey's shoulder. Her hair is on her face but when she lifts her head up in the very next shot her hair is now behind her right ear which she couldn't have done because her hands never left her lap.
  • There would be no logical reason for Phoebe not to go with Monica after hearing about Chandler being in a car accident. Even if Mike was not with Chandler, Phoebe and Chandler have still been close friends for many years, and it would be perfectly reasonable for her to prioritize going to see him over spending time with somebody like Amanda, who she has not seen in years.
  • Monica says the first time Rachel kissed Ross was when she couldn't stop giggling when he touched her butt ("The One Where Ross And Rachel... You Know") but their first real passionate kiss was in "The One Where Ross Finds Out".
  • There would be no logical reason for Ross to not turn around immediately after the first time he is sprayed from the front. The idea to "count to five" was likely only added to create a humorous situation for the sake of entertainment. In addition, when getting in the second time, he would just wait until sprayed on the back. It would be irrelevant if there was a light to tell him when.
  • After Chandler takes the photo of Ross, he turns to his right. It was shown that Ross lives in a deadend corridor when Joey was looking for the 'hot girl'. However in the later episode "The One Where Rachel Tells..." Ross also came from that direction.


Assistant: Wow, you catch on quick.
Ross: Well, I have a PhD, so...

Ross: (Entering the apartment looking very tanned) I went to that tanning place your wife suggested.
Chandler: Was that place The Sun??

Rachel: (laughing) Oooh! Ha, ha! (as Ross goes to the door to leave)
Ross: (yelling) I know!
Rachel: Oh oh! What is up with Miss Hawaiian Tropic?

External links

Episode Navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Preceded by
"The One Where Ross Is Fine"
Series Ten Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Cake"