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"The One With The Birth Mother" is the ninth episode of the tenth season of Friends, which aired on January 8, 2004. This episode was directed by actor David Schwimmer.


Joey tries to convince Phoebe to let him go out with her friend Sarah, but Phoebe refuses to set it up because she thinks he'll just sleep with her and never call her back and break her heart. With a little help from Rachel, Phoebe changes her mind and sets Sarah up with Joey, but he refuses to call her the next day. When Phoebe asks why, Joey explains how Sarah broke his golden commandment on their date - not to share food. Phoebe's shocked to say the least, but Rachel admits to her how this is who Joey is. Nonetheless, Phoebe makes Joey go out with Sarah again, making him order extra fries should the need arise. Joey does so, but Sarah really wants to dig in his seafood platter, making him drop his plate to the floor in the process. This makes him explain how "Joey doesn't share food", which she seems to understand. However, things change course when Joey hypocritically wants to nibble at her chocolate torte. As he wouldn't share his food with her, she reciprocates, and warns him not to touch any of her dessert while she wanders off to take a call. When she arrives, her dessert is pretty much gone; Joey, with chocolate torte all over his face, is at peace with himself, and admits that he's "not even sorry!"

Ross wants fashion advice for his date, as he doesn't know what to wear. Rachel, who works in fashion, buys some stuff for him at a fashion store, but has one of her bags taken by Ross. Confident that Rachel has picked out some top-of-the-line stuff for him, he puts on some of her stuff, including a shocking pink sweater. Just as Ross is taking his date's coat off, he sees that she's wearing exactly the same sweater. The two don't even make it to dinner. Joey and Ross end up back at square one at Central Perk, agreeing they could do worse. However, Joey flips out when Ross unknowingly tries to eat his muffin.


"You still want that baby" - Chandler convinced Erica to have the baby.

Monica and Chandler go to Cincinnati, Ohio to meet the birth mother, Erica. The two try not to get their hopes up, but they're very excited that they're so close to being parents. Erica admits how she's intimidated by the couple - only the couple she's intimidated of is Reverend Monica and Dr. Chandler. Monica plays along with their fake identities, but Chandler thinks otherwise. He points this out to her, and that with the woman giving them her baby, the least thing they should do is tell the truth about their careers. The two admit the mistake in their record, to which Erica immediately refuses to give them her baby. Chandler talks privately to Erica, admitting everything the record didn't show about them: he feels regret for not being able to give Monica the child she's always wanted, and he wants to be a good father knowing that Monica is already a good mother even without a baby of her own. A few minutes later, he returns to Monica with some news - he has managed to convince Erica - and she's now willing to give them a second chance.

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[]

Jorge Luis Abreu - The Waiter
Anna Faris - Erica
Jim O'Heir - Adoption Agency Center
Annie Parisse - Sarah
Cali Sheldon - Emma Geller-Greene
Noelle Sheldon - Emma Geller-Greene
Carla Toutz - Joan
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (Uncredited)


Directed By:
David Schwimmer

Written By:
Scott Silveri


  • This is the last episode which was directed by David Schwimmer.
  • This is the first appearance of Erica.
  • Ross goes on his last date before reuniting with Rachel in "The Last One".
  • Joey's plot in this episode revolves around him not sharing food. However, in "The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work" (S9E11), Phoebe asks him for "a sip of [his] coffee and a bite of [his] muffin." She ends up pouring his entire cup of coffee into her thermos and putting the entire muffin in her purse. He responds by asking if she's ever been bitten by a hungry Italian, which is in-line with his stance. It could be said that he allowed her a "sip" and "bite" due to Phoebe being one of his closest friends, and that she asked.
    • Also in the season 6 episode "The One With the Ring", Joey offers Ross a bite of pizza after the latter says 'how rude'.
  • Joey is horrified when he sees raspberry coulis on his cheesecake (which he calls "red crap"), even though he's a huge fan of jam, as seen extensively in "The One With The Jam" (S3E3).
  • When Sarah starts making a passionate noise while eating her chocolate cake, Joey says "I'll have what she's having". This is a line from the film When Harry Met Sally.
  • Rachel reveals that she and Joey dated for a week.
  • Rachel and Phoebe take Ross fashion shopping. The last person they went fashion shopping with was Ross' former girlfriend, Charlie. Coincidentally Charlie was Ross' last girlfriend before getting back together with Rachel.
  • The fact that Rachel knows what size clothes Ross wears indicates how close they are which comes from living together as they would have done laundry together.
  • Joey looks over to the table where Rachel is sitting after saying about Nancy "that's why I don't remember her". This is because Ross often sits at that table.
  • One of the extras wears the same backless top as Rachel does in the coffeehouse scene when Phoebe and Rachel are talking about Joey not sharing food.
  • The music when Sarah steals food off Joey's plate in the flashback is from The Twilight Zone.


  • After the title sequence, when Joey and Phoebe are talking, Phoebe takes off her jacket, and when the shot changes she takes it off again.
  • During the interview with Erica (the birth mother) and Chandler and Monica, Erica hands them a sonogram photo. It would have shown two babies on the ultrasound photo, but obviously we know that Erica wasn't aware that it was twins, and neither Chandler nor Monica realized it was twins until the doctor said "the other one will be coming soon". It's possible that Erica might not have realized from the photo that there were two babies, but Chandler and Monica are educated, smart people, and surely would have noticed if there had been two babies in the ultrasound photo. Hence, it would have been impossible for Erica to give birth to twins as there was only one baby all along.
  • At the end of Ross' date, Ross goes left while his date goes right. While this might be deliberate, the restaurant can't have two exits and entrances.


External links[]

Episode Navigation[]

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Preceded by
"The One With The Late Thanksgiving"
Series Ten Episodes Followed by
"The One Where Chandler Gets Caught"