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 have attracted both praise and 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 to her. 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 Chandler and Monica 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. Joey agrees without telling them directly; however Joey and Janine give different excuses leading to Joey having to confess the truth to Monica and Chandler. Joey asks them to adjust their personas so that things can work out between them. After a second double date, Janine again expresses displeasure with them, to the point of wanting to move out. Chandler and Monica hear her remarks and barge in, trading insults with Janine that culminates with Monica challenging Janine to a fight. Joey makes the couple leave, and privately talks to Janine; he says that even though he's upset at the two for also insulting her, their relationship will never work if she and his friends don't bond, resulting in them breaking up. As partial amends, Janine goes to apologize to them, but upon doing so with Monica, they both react coldly and reluctantly during the exchange. This leads to Janine again insulting Monica, so Monica hits Janine with a trash bag and they go downstairs to fight. After realizing what happened between the girls, Chandler and Joey question what to do and ultimately decide to go watch the fight. Offscreen, Janine moves out due to the conflict.
Cast and Crew
Kevin S. Bright
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.
- It's revealed that Chandler paid Joey $200 to keep quiet about his and Monica's affair.
- In the uncut DVD episode, in the tag scene in Central Perk, Ross and Chandler disagree that Monica could take Janine.
- The Magna Doodle has a Godzilla-like creature breathing fire drawn on it.
- Most if not all of the furnishings which Rachel buys are lost in the apartment fire.
- Pottery Barn is mentioned again in The One Where Rachel Tells Ross when Rachel comments to herself out loud "I wish they sold these at Pottery Barn" while lying on the bed awaiting her sonogram.
- 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.
- 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 same scene, an elderly man and woman can be seen behind Phoebe and Rachel but after a quick shot of the window display, the couple have disappeared.
- 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 Joey is talking with Chandler and Monica in his apartment, the door to Janine's bedroom changes from half-open, to fully closed and partially closed throughout the conversation.
- When Rachel, Ross and Phoebe are discussing the things Rachel has bought, just before Phoebe comments about allowing Rachel to help him redecorate, Rachel begins to move from behind the sofa to pass behind Ross but in the next shot she's making the same move again.
- When Ross, Rachel, and Phoebe are watching the movie, Ross asks Phoebe if she can "Please not put her feet up on his.." Before the shot cuts away, Ross mouths "Old sheets" but there is no audio. And in the next angle, he then says the line with audio.
- The One with the Apothecary Table at the Internet Movie Database
- The One with the Apothecary Table at Wikipedia
"The One With The Routine"
|Series Six Episodes||Followed by |
"The One With The Joke"
|<< Season 5||Season 6||Season 7 >>|
|#01||"The One After Vegas"||#10||"The One With The Routine"||#19||"The One With Joey's Fridge"|
|#02||"The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel"||#11||"The One With The Apothecary Table"||#20||"The One With Mac And C.H.E.E.S.E."|
|#03||"The One With Ross' Denial"||#12||"The One With The Joke||#21||"The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad"|
|#04||"The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance"||#13||"The One With Rachel's Sister"||#22||"The One Where Paul's The Man"|
|#05||"The One With Joey's Porsche"||#14||"The One Where Chandler Can't Cry"||#23||"The One With The Ring"|
|#06||"The One On The Last Night"||#15||"The One That Could Have Been, Part 1"||#24||"The One With The Proposal, Part 1"|
|#07||"The One Where Phoebe Runs"||#16||"The One That Could Have Been, Part 2"||#25||"The One With The Proposal, Part 2"|
|#08||"The One With Ross' Teeth"||#17||"The One With Unagi"|
|#09||"The One Where Ross Got High"||#18||"The One Where Ross Dates A Student"|