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"The One With The Baby On The Bus" is the sixth episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on November 2, 1995. Joey and Chandler accidentally leave Ben on a bus while babysitting. Phoebe (whose Smelly Cat debuts here) gets fired from her Central Perk singing gig, and is replaced by a professional.


Ben can't stop crying in Monica's hands, and Joey and Chandler make fun of her because of this. She gets back at them by throwing their basketball out of the window. Ross has an allergic reaction to Monica's kiwi-lime pie, and Chandler and Joey volunteer to baby-sit Ben while he and Monica head to the hospital. Ross halfheartedly allows them to baby-sit. At the hospital, Ross is worried about having to take a shot for the allergic reaction, and he squeezes Monica's hand to a pulp when he has the shot because of the unbearable pain he feels.

On the streets, Chandler and Joey are tending to the baby, when a beautiful woman notices them with him. She also, however, mistakes them for a gay couple. Things go quite differently with two other girls, who the boys ride the bus with. Just they all agree to go have drinks, the guys notice that they don't have Ben. With a look of horror at each other, they realize that they left him on the bus. They try to catch the bus again, but are left flabbergasted when the bus is joined by two other identical buses on its way away.

Terry, the manager at Central Perk, tells Rachel to tell Phoebe that a paid professional singer, Stephanie, is replacing her. Phoebe takes it hard, and Rachel asks Terry to let her perform after Stephanie, which he reluctantly consents to. Phoebe, however, refuses to play at Central Perk when she learns she has to do it for free, and instead sings hate songs outside the coffeehouse for charity. Rachel is sad for Phoebe, and comforts her on the street. Suddenly a stranger arrives, which turns out to be Frank Jr. in later episodes, asks for a condom he accidentally dropped in the case.

After phoning Joey and Chandler, they finally find the baby at the Department of Human Services, but are left stricken when they have to pick the one from two identical babies. Luckily for them, they pick the right one. This they recognize when he starts crying again in Monica's hands. Ross thinks it's time to change his diaper, but sees "Property of Human Services" on Ben's butt. Chandler holds Ross off with a slice of kiwi-lime pie while he yells: "Run, Joey, run!" At the coffeehouse, Phoebe teaches "Smelly Cat" to Stephanie.

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

Chrissie Hynde - Stephanie Schiffer
Max Wright - Terry
Victor Raider-Wexler - Doctor Karlin
Catherine Bell - Robin
Hugh Dane - Jim
Jennifer Sommerfield - Becky
Lea Thompson - Caroline Duffy (uncredited)
Giovanni Ribisi - Condom Boy / Frank Buffay Jr (uncredited)
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
Gail Mancuso

Written By:
Betsy Borns



  • Rachel and Phoebe do not share any scenes with the rest of the gang in this episode; they are only seen together in Central Perk.
  • Catherine Bell who appears here as Robin was the nude body double in the film Death Becomes Her for Isabella Rossellini who appears as herself next season in "The One With Frank Jr." She had also appeared in an episode of Dream On which was like Friends created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. In 2003 Catherine co-starred in Bruce Almighty with, Morgan Freeman, Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston. Catherine Bell also starred in a long running TV series JAG, where Christina Pickles (who played Judy Geller on Friends) had a recurring role.
  • This is the episode where Ross is revealed to have a PhD. Monica reveals it to the doctor administering the shot to Ross.
  • In the spin-off show Joey, in "Joey and the Book Club", Joey is seen singing "Angel of the Morning," the exact song Chrissie Hynde was singing at Central Perk.
    • In the uncut DVD version of the episode, Chrissie Hynde plays "Angel of the Morning" for a longer time. This longer version also shows Rachel on the point of tears watching Phoebe outside.
  • Lea Thompson crosses over in her role from Caroline in the City. Later on the night this episode was aired, David Schwimmer appeared as Ross on The Single Guy and Matthew Perry appeared as Chandler on Caroline in the City.
  • The bus Chandler and Joey board is bound for Washington Square which is next to the NYU where Ross works as a professor later in the series.
  • When Joey and Chandler get off the bus, the girls they got off the bus with suggests they go to Marcel's (although the girls call it Markel's). Marcel's is the name of the restaurant shown later in the season in "The One After The Superbowl, Part 2".
  • Giovanni Ribisi appears in this episode as 'Condom Boy'. He returns later in the series as Frank Buffay Jr., Phoebe's half-brother. They may be the same character, but Frank and Phoebe don't know each other like that until "The One With The Bullies", and are just strangers at this point. Against this, is that Frank later claims to have never been to New York before.
    • Its possible Frank Jr has a poor memory, like Phoebe and forgot he'd been to New York before.
  • Ross mentions to Monica in this episode that he hopes Ben will have a sister, which happens when Rachel gives birth to Emma Geller-Greene
  • This is the first episode to feature "Smelly Cat". 
  • In this episode Ben cries when Monica holds him. However she does manage to stop his half-sister Emma from crying later in the series. 
  • The joke when Joey and Chandler don't assign heads and tails to one of the babies is reused at the start of the apartment contest in "The One With The Embryos" when they don't assign heads and tails to decide whether the boys or girls should go first. 
  • This episode appears on Friends - The One with All the Babies DVD. 
  • This is the second and final appearance of Max Wright as Terry, although he's mentioned next season in "The One Where Rachel Quits". 
  • In the tag scene,  Phoebe teaches Chrissie Hynde Smelly Cat.  In the tag scene of "The One After The Superbowl",  Phoebe teaches another professional musician Chris Isaak Smelly Cat but this is only seen when the uncut episode is shown in two parts. Chrissie actually co-wrote the song music with Lisa Kudrow.


  • During the bus ride scene, as Chandler & Joey chat up the two young ladies, we can see through the windows as the bus makes a turn. Cut to the girls reactions, then back to Chandler & Joey as the background shows the bus making the same turn with the same background, including the same pedestrians walking as in the previous shot.
  • During the scene with Lea Thompson, Joey asks her if she'd like to smell Ben. She replies with, "I assume we're talking about the baby now." In the next cut, she can be seen mouthing the same exact line as the laugh track plays over.
  • Even if it was accidental, in real life Chandler and Joey would face legal trouble for leaving Ben on the bus as it is considered child endangerment.
    • In addition, the human services wouldn't release a lost child to people who are not the child's parents.
  • Phoebe questions Stephanie outside of Central Perk about her knowledge of chords on the guitar. In this episode, she mentions chords by names, indicating that she knew the chords. But in "The One With All The Resolutions" she claims not to know the names of any of chords, instead using her own nicknames for them. This may not have been a goof as she might have been dtrying to provoke Chandler who wasn't supposed to poke fun at his friends.
  • The tea towel on Rachel's lap goes from crumpled in her hands, flat on her leg and back to crumpled in her hands while Rachel and Phoebe are talking.
  • In the hospital scene, the doctor inserts the needle in Ross' arm. But in reality, epinephrine injections to stop an allergic reaction should always be administered in the thigh, which a doctor should know.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With Five Steaks And An Eggplant"
"The One With The Baby On The Bus" Followed by
"The One Where Ross Finds Out"