Friends Central
Friends Central
The One With The Bullies
Season 2, episode 21
45th overall episode of Friends
Ross and Chandler fighting with the bullies.
Episode Information

April 25, 1996

Written by

Sebastian Jones & Brian Buckner

Directed by

Michael Lembeck

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One Where Old Yeller Dies


The One With The Two Parties


"The One With The Bullies" is the twenty-first episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on April 25, 1996. In this episode, Chandler and Ross are intimidated by two bullies who take over the friends' Central Perk sofa. Phoebe meets her long-lost family.


Chandler and Ross enter the coffee shop and sit down on a sofa when two other male customers - Arthur and Carl - return from making orders at the counter and claim that they are in their seats.

Revealing themselves to be nasty, unpleasant and potentially violent individuals they start bullying and intimidating Ross and Chandler whenever they see them. The bullies tell Ross and Chandler they are never to return to the coffee house unless they want to get beat up, but Chandler and Ross eventually decide to face their fear and go anyway.

The now more casually dressed bullies suggest they "take this outside", and while discussing the "rules" for the fight, they notice that other guys are stealing the valuables they had set aside for the fight. All four guys chase them down and the problem is resolved.

Monica is still without a proper job and now down to the last of her savings. Desperate to avoid working in a cheesy 50s diner (in which she'd be required to dress up and dance on the counter), she decides to invest her in the stock market even though she knows nothing about it, picking the stocks to invest in based on the letter combinations that stand for the companies. She eventually loses all her money and is forced to take the diner job much to her embarrassment and reluctance.

Phoebe decides to visit her biological father. When she gets there, a little Jack Russell terrier, tries to attack her. She, Rachel and Joey are stuck in the car until it is night. Taking it as a sign she shouldn't meet her dad, she decides to come back later but as she pulls out she runs over the dog. She takes it to the vet and later brings it back to the house, meeting the woman who lives there. When she asks if Frank Buffay lives there she finds out that her father had a son and abandoned this family as well. Although upset, Phoebe gets some consolation by meeting Frank Jr, the half-brother she never knew she had. The two agree to spend time together.

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

Peter DeLuise - Carl
Nicky Katt - Arthur
Laraine Newman - Mrs. Buffay
Giovanni Ribisi - Frank Buffay Jr.
James Michael Tyler - Gunther


Directed By:
Michael Lembeck

Written By:
Sebastian Jones & Brian Buckner


  • This may be the first appearance of Giovanni Ribisi as Frank Buffay Jr. Ribisi had appear previously in "The One With The Baby On The Bus" as 'Condom Boy'. It is possible that both character are the same person, although it is unlikely given that later, in "The One With Frank Jr.", it is stated that Frank Jr had never been in New York before that episode. Its possible that, like Phoebe, Frank Jr has a poor memory and forgot he'd been to New York before.
  • The position of Monica on her knees holding Rachel begging her for money is identical to that of Ross and Rachel in "The One With The Morning After". (S3E17)
  • The Moondance Diner was a real 50s diner which closed in 2012, despite relocating from New York to Wyoming. The James Hotel occupies the original site in New York. No internal shots were filmed at the real diner.
  • We learn Monica's middle name begins with E but it's never revealed what the E is short for.
  • When Phoebe first meets Frank Jr., she brings up the idea of him having a friend named Pete. Giovanni Ribisi would later go on to play a character named Pete in the Amazon Prime drama "Sneaky Pete".
  • The name of the "Laverne and Curly fries" served by the diner is a reference to the sitcom Laverne & Shirley aired between 1976 and 1983.
  • After ditching MEG in the stock market, Monica says she bought shares in CHP because she had a crush on Erik Estrada, one of the lead actors in CHiPs. Nicky Katt, who plays one of the bullies at Central Perk in this episode, had a guest role on CHiPs.
  • The laughter which follows Monica saying "my motto is 'get out before they go down' " (in reference to buying and selling stocks) is because in the uncut episode, Joey responds "that's so not my motto", hence Rachel's facial expression.
  • The music Monica dances to in the tag scene is YMCA by the Village People, a group who also wore costumes in their act.
  • Rachel and Joey bring cushions with them when they accompany Phoebe in her grandmother's cab. This is because of the first time Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler try to visit her dad and keep hitting their heads due to Phoebe's rough braking.


  • When Phoebe goes to visit her father, there is a little dog outside. Phoebe gets back in the car and the dog jumps up the side of it. When he finally gets part way through the window, the top of the dog-handler's head is visible through the car window.
  • When Phoebe is talking about the signs, Rachel changes position several times while Phoebe's speaking.
  • When Phoebe returns the dog, a woman across the road walks to her door twice.
  • YMCA was played in the '50s diner despite the fact that it was released in 1978. This is undoubtedly because at the time this episode was filmed there was a 50's diner in Los Angeles called Ed Debevic's where the staff really would start dancing and performing when the song YMCA was played.
  • One of the extras in the shot where Ross, Chandler, and the bullies chase after the thieves that stole the hat bumps into a fire hydrant that moves.
  • When Monica is dancing on the bar, she's between a guy, dressed as Elvis, wearing a red jumpsuit and a blonde woman in a leather jacket and white T-shirt; but on the last part of the credits she's between a redhead woman, dressed as Lucille Ball, wearing a navy dress and a guy, dressed as Buddy Holly, with a brown blazer and glasses.
  • During the conversation between Joey, Chandler and Ross, the amount that Chandler's bedroom door is open changes between shots.
  • When the cab stops abruptly in the wide screen version the driver is visibly not Phoebe, has a dark hair and a white t-shirt, while Phoebe is blonde in a blue coat.

External links

Episode Navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Preceded by
"The One Where Old Yeller Dies"
"The One With The Bullies" Followed by
"The One With The Two Parties"