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Not to be confused with "The One Where Ross Finds Out" where Ross and Julie are getting a cat, or with "The One With The Ball" where Rachel buys a cat.

"The One With The Cat" is the second episode of the fourth season of Friends, which aired on October 2, 1997.


Chandler has never really made his peace with the entertainment unit his roommate Joey built for them, but when he rips the sleeve of his suit jacket, he decides that he's had enough of it and decides to throw it out. When Joey expresses his dismay at throwing out something he built with his hands, Chandler opts to sell the unit. Even so, he's ready to accept ludicrously low offers (maxing at $50), but when the guys are offered a canoe, he fights Joey's instincts and refuses to buy it for them.

Meanwhile, at apartment 20, Monica is excited to receive a phone call from Chip Matthews, Rachel's prom date. Ross is happy for Monica, but his cheerful demeanor vanishes when Rachel enters the apartment. Following the furious argument they had which resulted in their definitive break-up, Ross and Rachel are still at loggerheads. Ross gets one over on Rachel when he tricks her into believing that Chip Matthews called asking for her. Rachel gets embarrassed when Chip, upon being given a phone call from her, informs her that he called asking for Monica. Rachel, however, doesn't want Monica to go out with Chip, who was horrible enough to dump Rachel in the middle of the prom to go have sex with another student named Amy Welsh.

Phoebe finds a cat in her guitar case with which she really connects. The incredible thing about this is that Phoebe believes that the cat is her mother (despite the cat being male). Although none of her friends really believe in this reincarnation, it's Ross who's most vociferous about it. To confirm his skepticism, Rachel finds a poster of a missing cat by the name of Julio which matches the one Phoebe found. She hates to, but has to admit that Ross is right. Meanwhile, Joey's still struggling with finding the ideal unit buyer, but his will to prove a point about his unit gets the best of him when he shows it to a man who can't believe that the compartment is big enough for Joey to fit in. Joey agrees to knock $5 off the unit price and gets in the unit, only for the thief to lock him in with an ice-hockey stick and empties the apartment of almost everything. When Chandler enters the apartment, he is horrified and demands information from Joey, who can't seem to prioritize the gravity of the situation.

Despite the heartache he caused Rachel, Monica goes out on a date with Chip Matthews, only to find that he hasn't matured or done anything to better himself at all since high school; he still works at the movie theater he worked in years ago, still lives with his parents and enjoys pulling wedgies to ex-school buddies as much as the average ten-year-old. This is good enough an excuse for Monica to break up with him. At the coffeehouse, Ross trusts the guys to tell Phoebe all about Julio the missing cat, but they fail as they discover Phoebe to have a source of happiness in the animal and don't want to deprive her from it.

The guys learn of the robbery at Chandler and Joey's, and are checking out the empty apartment. Ross joins the group, and is enraged to find that no one told Phoebe about the cat, so he takes matters in his own hands, hurting Phoebe's feelings in the process. When he's embarrassed by Phoebe's naive yet true words, he offers to make amends. Rachel steps in to suggest he apologize directly to the cat, knowing his hate to deal with the surreal. As this makes Phoebe happy, Ross lets out an apology to Julio in front of everyone. After that the girls return Julio to its rightful owner.

The episode ends with Chandler and Joey finally having got rid of the entertainment unit having swapped it for the canoe they were offered, which is now their only piece of furniture.  The two miserably sit in silence.

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

Dan Gauthier - Chip
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Matthew Kaminsky - Tony
Ken Weiler - Peter
Marc Unger - The Thief


Directed By:
Shelley Jensen

Written By:
Jill Condon & Amy Toomin


Joey: Dude, Phoebe's mom's got a huge pair of...
Chandler: Let it go!



  • The Magna Doodle message showed while the burglar is locking Joey into the closet was "Spam to the world!"
  • After that, the burglar leaves the message "Thanks for all your stuff!".
  • Rachel not knowing Chandler's job would later come back to haunt her in "The One With The Embryos".
  • The restaurant Monica went on a date with Chip Matthews is called Dot's Spot. This restaurant can also be seen again outside Phoebe's new laundry during the episode "The One With The Tea Leaves" and in several other episodes.
  • This episode is dedicated to Dorothy Kauffman, Marta Kauffman's mother.
  • Chandler buys new furniture, TV etc a few weeks later in "The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line" after kissing Kathy.
  • The real name of the cat is Julio. This was also the name of the colleague of Monica's at the Moondance Diner who believed all women were empty vessels.
  • When Chip arrives to pick up Monica, Rachel's wearing torn jeans. This is the only time she's seen wearing torn clothing.
  • The showrunners have stated their dislike for the episode due to the nonsensical plot involving Phoebe, but were guilt-tripped into doing it anyway due to Marta Kaufman's grief over losing her mother.


  • In "The One With The List", and also in "The One With The Ball", Monica says that she's allergic to cat hair and cats respectively, yet in this episode she is not only comfortable with a cat right in front of her, but is also touching it with no allergic reactions whatsoever. 
  • When Rachel is supposedly on the phone calling Chip, it can be clearly seen that she does not dial. The shot switch from Ross to Rachel is too fast for her to have dialed the number. It could have also happened, however, that Rachel called the last dialed number from her phone, which would be Chip's.
  • Just after Monica enters the apartment, Rachel asks "when are you going to tell me you're going out with Chip Matthews?" The camera is slightly out of focus.
  • When Rachel is talking to Chip, her arms go from by her sides to folded between shots.
  • When Ross and Monica are discussing Chip Matthews in Joey and Chandler's apartment, Rachel's arms change position with each shot change.

External links

Episode Navigation

Preceded by
"The One With The Jellyfish"
Series Four Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Cuffs"