The One With The Apothecary Table
Season 6, episode 11
132nd overall episode of Friends
Phoebe checks out the apothecary table Rachel bought.
Episode Information

January 6, 2000

Written by

Brian Boyle (teleplay)
Zack Rosenblatt (story)

Directed by

Kevin S. Bright

Episode Guide

The One With The Routine


The One With The Joke


"The One with the Apothecary fable" is the eleventh episode of the sixth season of Friends, which aired on January 6, 2000.

The episode was directed by Kevin S. Bright, written by Brian Boyle (from a story by Zachary Rosenblatt) and guest-stars Elle Macpherson in her final appearance as recurring character Janine Lecroix. The episode and producers attracted criticism for the blatant product placement present in the story.


Rachel buys an apothecary table from Pottery Barn for the apartment she shares with Phoebe. Monica warns her that Phoebe hates mass-produced products and anything that does not have a history. In order to keep the table Rachel pretends to have bought it at a flea market, so Phoebe will think it is an antique. Rachel goes to Ross' place and she realizes that Ross had bought the exact same apothecary table at Pottery Barn. Ross disguises the table with some sheets but after spilling wine over it, Phoebe discovers the apothecary table. Rachel gives the excuse that Pottery Barn copied their "original" apothecary table. Eventually, Rachel ends up buying a lot of home decor from Pottery Barn, still lying about where they were all purchased, saying it was all bought at the flea market. Ross later gives the idea of taking Phoebe to the flea market to buy something of her own. When coming back from the market, Phoebe and Rachel pass by Pottery Barn. Phoebe realizes that the window has exactly the same copy of their living room and finds out Rachel has been lying. Rachel admits she likes the Pottery Barn furniture and does not want to part with it. Phoebe notices a lamp at Pottery Barn, which is the one thing Rachel hadn't bought, she intentionally coerces Rachel to threaten to move out if she does not buy that lamp. However, even after seeing all the furniture in the store, Phoebe still believes that the table is an antique.

Meanwhile, Joey and Janine go on a double date with Chandler and Monica. When they get home, Janine tells Joey that she cannot stand his friends for two days in a row (Janine thinks Chandler is "blah" and that "Monica talks very loud for a small person") and asks Joey not to go out with them the next day. However Joey and Janine give different excuses leading to Joey confessing the truth to Monica and Chandler. After a second double date, Janine again states that Monica and Chandler are very dull. Chandler and Monica hear her remarks and protest. Joey talks to Janine and says that their relationship will never work if she and his friends don't bond. Janine leaves and apologizes to Monica, which she reluctantly accepts. However, a fight ends up between Monica and Janine and they go down stairs to solve it. After realizing what happened between the girls, Chandler and Joey go watch the fight. Torn because of his feelings for Janine but knowing he did the right thing, Joey breaks up with her and Janine moves out.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

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

Supporting Cast

Elle Macpherson - Janine Lecroix
James Michael Tyler - Gunther


Directed By:
Kevin S. Bright

Written By:
Brian Boyle


Entertainment Weekly rates the episode B+, describing Janine's criticism of Monica and Chandler as inspired, and enjoying the mockery of the "omnipresent" Pottery Barn. The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends point out that viewers are aware that new characters will not remain on the series for long, citing Paolo, Julie, Richard Burke and Emily Waltham as examples. They further describe Janine's character as lacking personality, suggesting it is either bad writing or bad acting by Macpherson.

In a 2004 feature to mark the end of the series, EW compiled a "best product placement" list, placing this episode at number one. When questioned in 2000 about why there was product placement in the episode, Peter Roth of Warner Bros. played down the criticism by stating that the deal struck with Pottery Barn "offset the high cost of production". The episode had lasting effects for Pottery Barn; in a 2004 interview Patrick Connolly of Williams-Sonoma said the "phones light up with catalog requests every time it airs" in syndication.

This episode is cited in a study of product placement in television.



  • This is the last appearance of Janine Lecroix in the show.
  • In the uncut DVD episode, in the tag scene in Central Perk, Ross and Chandler disagree that Monica could take Janine.
  • Monica's drinking is referenced again in this episode when Chandler says "I just tell people Monica's drunk again."
  • The MagnaDoodle has a Godzilla-like creature breathing fire drawn on it.
  • Ross is the butt of Phoebe's joke about his dinosaur collection (which Rachel described to Phoebe as a collection of junk and reproduction fossils) but these will in fact play a big part in Ross and Rachel getting back together as he uses them to bribe her boss, Mr. Zelner, into getting her job back at Ralph Lauren after she's fired. 
  • Phoebe suggests to Ross that he let Rachel redecorate his apartment. In just over 4 years time Rachel will be in a position to do just that after moving in permanently with Ross in the series finale when they get back together for good.  


  • At the beginning of the episode, Joey says to his friends that he just kissed his roommate Janine, implying that this happens only moments after the previous episode. Adding the fact that when Chandler asks what happened next, he replies with "I came here to tell you guys" and that she's there waiting for him, means it must have happened at that moment. However, everyone wears different clothes than the previous episode. The Christmas tree from the previous episode is missing as well. It is possible, however, that Joey had waited a few days before telling them. Also later in the episode, Joey mentions the double date that he and Janine had with Monica and Chandler earlier was their first date. Meaning they could've had a sex-only relationship before Joey told his friends.
  • When Rachel, Monica and Chandler are discussing Pottery Barn, Chandler mentions that Joey got under the sheets in Pottery Barn but later in the episode Rachel tells Ross she forgot they do sheets.
  • When Chandler says "Enjoy the catalog, sweetheart." Rachel's hand is close to her face, but in the previous shot, it is not.
  • When Rachel, Ross and Phoebe are watching the movie, they begin to laugh, Rachel's arms are crossed. In the next shot, her hands are clapping.
  • When Monica and Janine hug, Monica holds the white bag with her left hand. In the next shot, the bag is now on her right hand.
  • When Phoebe and Rachel are looking through the window of Pottery Barn, in the HD remastered episode you can see the edge of the set on the right hand side, this would be because HD is 16:9 aspect ratio and the episode was filmed and edited for 4:3 television, and is 4:3 safe.
  • In the credits scene, when Monica says "You go for their knees." her right hand is not holding anything and is on her knee. In the next shot, this hand is holding a green cup.
  • When Janine reveals her dislike for Chandler and Monica to Joey, there is a blue Game Boy Pocket on the counter-top that changes positions every time the shot returns to her.
  • When Rachel and Phoebe are returning from the flea market they mention the sheets they'd bought for Ross presumably using the $20 Ross had given Rachel but when Phoebe says she wants to buy the lamp, Rachel says they've still got the $20 Ross had given them. The only explanation is that Rachel had bought the sheets for Ross with her own money.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With The Routine"
Series Six Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Joke"