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Friends Central
The One With The Chicken Pox
Season 2, episode 23
47th overall episode of Friends
"Hey sailor"
Episode Information

May 9, 1996

Written by

Brown Mandell

Directed by

Michael Lembeck

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One With The Two Parties


The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding


"The One With The Chicken Pox" is the twenty-third episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on NBC on May 9, 1996. When Phoebe catches chicken pox, her chances for romance with an ex-love are nearly ruined. Rachel is intrigued by Phoebe's ex-love's sailor suit wanting Ross to have one as well. Monica feels she may be too neurotic for straight-arrow Richard.


Ryan, a guy in the navy who used to date Phoebe, is coming to the city for two whole weeks, but Ben has chicken pox and everybody except Phoebe has had them and later, Phoebe gets it as well. Ryan also hasn't had them, but he wouldn't let the pox stand between them, resulting in both having the chicken pox and the itching driving them crazy. Ryan leaves after two not-so-romantic weeks and is never seen or mentioned again.

Joey needs some money, so Chandler organizes a job as a data processor at his work for Joey. Joey, not knowing how to process data, decides to act as a processor, named Joseph. His character has two kids and a wife, Karen. Unfortunately for him, Chandler hates Joseph, because he gets along with other employees in the workplace by blaming Chandler for all his faults. They agree that Joseph has to go, after Chandler acted that he cheated with Karen.

Monica is upset that Richard doesn't have one little thing that he is obsessive about, but in the end he discovers that he has one obsessive thing (he has to sleep on the west side of the bed).

Ross ends up wearing a Navy uniform to spice things up with Rachel, who kills the moment.

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

Mary-Pat Green - Jeannie
Steve Park - Scott Alexander
Tom Selleck - Dr. Richard Burke
Charlie Sheen - Ryan
Dorien Wilson - Mr. Kogen


Written By:
Brown Mandell

Directed By:
Michael Lembeck


  • Phoebe stays over at Monica and Rachel's apartment, explaining that she cannot sleep at her apartment with her grandmother who hasn't had chicken pox.
  • In this episode, it's shown that Monica always wants to sleep at the right side (for the viewers) of the bed. However, in almost every scene where she's in bed with Chandler, she's at the left side of the bed.
  • The dressing gown Monica is wearing is similar to the one Ross wore in "The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies" except that this has black edging instead of white edging.
  • The scene where Rachel is carried away by Ross is a parody of the end scene in An Officer And A Gentleman, complete with Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes' "Up Where We Belong" playing in the background. Rachel asks Ross if he still has the naval uniform in "The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy" (Season 3 Premiere).
  • This is the second of two episodes in which Chandler gets one of the other friends a job at his work. The other one is "The One With The Ick Factor", where Phoebe becomes Chandler's secretary.
  • This is the first of three episodes in which Joey gets a job at one of his friend's work. In "The One With Phoebe's Uterus", Ross gets Joey a job as a tour guide at the museum. In "The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie", Monica hires, and fires, Joey as a waiter at Allesandro's.
  • In the scene where Monica and Richard are sitting on the bed talking about Monica's obsessions, Monica walks into the room with duct tape (often mistakenly called duck tape) and Richard's shirt has ducks on it.
  • Ryan's grade is Lieutenant-Commander. Ross borrows a uniform of a Lieutenant, which is one grade below Lieutenant-Commander.
  • Joey says his character, Joseph has three kids. Ironically Joey is the only one of the friends not to be seen to have children, although since he donated to a sperm bank, he may have biological children. Also he talks about his (imaginary) boat; later in the series Joey accidentally buys a boat at a silent auction when he thought it was just a guessing game. 
  • The song "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" is referenced again in The One With All The Resolutions .


  • In the teaser scene when Monica grabs the mug from the coffee table and licks it before telling Chandler "There you go, enjoy your coffee," the mug is clearly empty.
  • During the scene where Richard confronts Monica about remaking the bed, the duvet on which Monica is resting changes positions dramatically between shots.
  • Ryan doesn't pick up his bag from the hallway.
  • When Ryan puts down his naval cap, the white part is on top but in the next shot it's upside down even though he never touched it.
  • During the closing credits Dorien Wilson is credited as portraying Mr. Kogen; however during the episode Chandler refers to him as Mr. Douglas. In the episode "The One With Two Parts, Part 1", the same actor plays Mr. Douglas, indicating there was an error in this episode's closing credits. At one point it sounds like Joey called Mr. Douglas "Mr. Dougen" suggesting that the name was overdubbed.
  • The symptoms (spots, fever, etc) of chicken pox only develop 2 – 3 weeks after exposure to the virus. Therefore, when Ross knew that Ben had chicken pox, Phoebe shouldn't have developed the condition until at least two weeks later, and Ryan certainly shouldn't have developed the disease until the end of his stay (as Phoebe was his only contact with the virus).
  • As Ryan is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy who had been serving for the last two years deployed on a submarine, he would be wearing his "Dolphins" (more formally known as the "Submarine Warfare Insignia", a badge used to signify his qualification as a submariner), yet doesn't appear to be wearing one on his uniform. In addition to this, the ribbons he wears on his uniform do not correctly follow the order of precedence.
  • In the tag scene when Ross drops Rachel onto the orange sofa, after a couple of seconds Rachel starts to sit upright but when the shot changes, she starts to sit upright again.
  • Phoebe wears oven mitts, and allows Ryan to touch her with oven mitts, despite declaring that "oven mitts really freak [her] out" in "The One With The Ball ". However, given Phoebe's erratic system of beliefs, she could have easily developed this aversion to oven mitts in the time between those events.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With The Two Parties"
Series Two Episodes Followed by
"The One With Barry and Mindy's Wedding"