Friends Central

"The One With The Cop" is the sixteenth episode of the fifth season of Friends, which aired on NBC on February 25, 1999.


After seeing Monica and Chandler doing a crossword puzzle together and enjoying each other's closeness, Joey has dreams about Monica, where it's him who's enjoying the closeness between them. He fears that he's falling in love with Monica, but she and Chandler explain that this is not the case. When he yearns for a relationship like theirs, the two suggest that the fact that they were friends first could have contributed to their closeness. Joey thinks it's a good idea, but puts it to bad practice when he hits on Rachel. When she asks him why he's doing this, he explains how he listed the female friends he has - Rachel and Phoebe - and that he chose her because he saw her first. Rachel explains to Joey how he should make friends with other women first to build a foundation for a relationship instead of hitting on existing friends, but all this does is bring Joey back to his former self - when he mentions the idea of becoming friends first to a potential romantic prospect, she treats it as a "pick-up line" and he decides to sleep with her and her roommate.

As he's decorating his new apartment, Ross is couch-shopping. He purchases a new couch, but refuses to pay for delivery as the service costs nearly as much as the couch itself. He asks Rachel to help him carry it all the way to his apartment. The two get stuck in the stairs (as there is no elevator) and it seems that it takes three to move a couch. Rachel brings Chandler for help, but even the three of them can do nothing except block the couch in the stairs. Eventually the couch sustains so much damage from the residents of the apartment that it ends up cut in half. He takes a chance and returns it to the couch store, but can only obtain $4 in store credit for exchange - which he accepts.

Phoebe finds a wallet containing a NYPD badge at Central Perk. She enjoys using it to make others sustain her beliefs, such as threatening a woman with arrest when the latter puts out a cigarette on a tree trunk. Monica and Chandler try to talk Phoebe into returning the badge to the police station, but to no avail. Phoebe keeps using the badge, but when she tries to threaten a real cop, Gary, she freaks out. When she finds out that the badge is his, she drops it on the spot and runs away. Later, the cop calls in at Monica's looking for her - but as it turns out, not to arrest her for abusing of the badge, but to ask her out. Taken altogether by surprise, Phoebe accepts.

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[]

Michael Rapaport - Gary
NiCole Robinson - The Smoking Woman
Mark Fite - The Salesman
Aloma Wright - The Saleswoman
James Michael Tyler - Gunther


Directed By:
Andrew Tsao

Written By:
Alicia Sky Varinaitis, Gigi McCreery & Perry Rein


Ross: Look, I drew a sketch of how we're gonna do it, okay? Rach, that's you. That's the couch.
Rachel: Oh, what's that?
Ross: Oh, that's me.
Rachel: Wow... Certainly think a lot of yourself.
Ross: No, that's my arm.
Chandler: Oh, I see. I thought you just really, really liked your new couch.


  • The Magna Doodle reads: "Joey, your agent called." Later in the episode, it changes to a drawing of a target.
  • At the end of the episode, Ross accepts $4 in store credit for his damaged couch; this shows how cheap he is.
  • This episode marks the second time in the series where a reference is made to Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. The first was in "The One With The Stoned Guy" when Chandler complains that he doesn't have any goals or dreams, to which Ross replies, "Ah, the lesser-known 'I don't have a dream' speech."
  • Joey rashly tries to begin a relationship with Rachel, just so he can mimic the closeness of Monica and Chandler's newfound relationship. Years later, Joey and Rachel have feelings for each other and attempt to date but are only together for a week as they are unable to get past the kissing stage.
  • This episode reveals that Phoebe has been in prison or jail prior to the series. This is evident when Gary brings up her criminal record when asking her out claiming that she has done a lot of crazy stuff and in "The One In Vegas", when the security guard asks her to leave to which she replies, "I will not go back to that hell hole."
  • The uncut DVD version of this episode includes an extra scene where Ross and Rachel can't move the couch. Rachel accidentally pulls the fire alarm and everyone in the building runs down the stairs and breaks Ross' couch which explains why the couch was broken at the end of the episode. This might be confusing for fans watching the cut version as of why it got to that state.
    • In addition, in the uncut DVD version includes a scene where Ross and Rachel talk about Dateline after the former says that despite the delivery charge being a rip-off for the couch, deliverers "check out your stuff and come back later and steal it" which he saw from that same show.
  • In the blooper for the couch movement scene, David, Jennifer and Matthew burst out laughing when David starts yelling "Pivot". He later stated he's never laughed so much.
  • Ross ends up buying a leather couch which is seen in the next episode.
  • Phoebe calls the woman who put out her cigarette on the tree "Red", which is the nickname of Lisa Kudrow's character Valerie Cherish from The Comeback.
  • At the beginning of the episode, when Chandler and Monica (and later, in a dream, Joey and Monica) are doing the crossword puzzle, a picture for the book "Babyhood" by Paul Reiser can be clearly seen on the opposite page.
  • This is the first appearance of Michael Rapaport as Gary. Gary was in 4 episodes of Friends.
  • Both David Schwimmer and Michael Rapaport previously acted together on an episode of NYPD Blue ("Brown Appetite") as well as in the 1996 film The Pallbearer.
  • While talking to Gary, Phoebe asks him if he knows Sipowicz, a reference to Detective Andy Sipowicz from the ABC crime show, NYPD Blue. Gary then tells her no, but "I heard that kid from Silver Spoons is really good", referring to actor Ricky Schroder, who went on to play Sipowicz's partner, Detective Danny Sorenson in the later seasons of the show.
  • It's revealed in this episode that Ross and Rachel have had sex 298 times when they were dating. Years later, they do it twice again - when conceiving Emma a month before "The One With Monica And Chandler's Wedding, Part 2" and then again in "The One With Rachel's Going Away Party" - adding up to 300 times in total.
  • Ross reveals that he kept count of how many times he and Rachel had sex when they went out. In the uncut version of "The One With All The Kissing", Monica accidentally reveals she keeps a score-book when Rachel tells her she'd told Ross she still loved him.
  • This episode was used as "P is for Pivot" in the Nick at Nite Friends A-Z Event (January 2023).


  • When Phoebe is talking to the woman who put out the cigarette on the tree, when she says "Book 'em", the position of both Phoebe's arms and the woman's arms change between shots.
  • When Joey stands leaning on the cooker in his apartment talking to Rachel, his left arm is right by the supposedly lit cooker ring. Apart from the risk of his sweater catching fire, it would also be unbearably hot for his arm to stay in that position for that amount of time.
  • Ross returns the now cut in half couch to the store but how did he get it there since it took both him and Rachel to move it in the first place?
  • When Ross and Rachel are sofa buying, before Ross goes to sign, Rachel's coat is just over the back corner of the sofa but when he actually goes to sign it's over the cushion too even though Rachel hasn't touched it.
  • Phoebe says she works at the 57th Precinct. There is no 57th Precinct in New York. Considering she was making up colleague names to cover why she had a police badge, she may have panicked and said a random number, not realizing there isn't a 57th Precinct, and Gary was playing along with Phoebe.
  • The way the saleswoman holds the Waverley catalogue in the tag scene changes between shots.

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 With The Girl Who Hits Joey"
"The One With The Cop" Followed by
"The One With Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss"