|The One With The Embryos|
|Season 4, episode 12|
|85th overall episode of Friends|
|Everyone intrigued, waiting for the test.|
January 15, 1998
"The One With The Embryos" is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Friends, which aired on January 15, 1998.
Chandler and Joey's "chick" has unexpectedly grown into a rooster and starting crowing early in the morning, which the girls next door are not amused with at all. But their anger vanishes into excitement for Phoebe, who goes to the fertility clinic - having accepted Frank Jr. and Alice's request, she is about to become their surrogate mother. However, she freaks out when she finds out it's five embryos that are being transferred and not just one, although not as freaked out as when she learns that even with five embryos, there's still only a 25% chance that she will successfully become pregnant. As the IVF is extremely expensive, Phoebe feels much pressure.
At Monica's, Joey bets Monica he and Chandler know more about them than she and Rachel know about the guys. Quick to scoff in disbelief, Monica is also quick to lose when the guys manage to guess all of Rachel's items in her shopping bag. This quickly turns into a full-fledged trivia quiz about who knows more about whom, Ross being the judge. Stakes fly high, but the quiz ends in a tie, and money is not enough for the challenge to be settled, so the girls ask the guys to get rid of the duck and the rooster should the former win. Chandler and Joey only accept the extreme wager on one condition- if the girls lose, the guys take their apartment.
Super-competitive Monica is quick to shake hands on the deal, but Rachel has doubts about this risky bet. However, there isn't much time to mull the decisions as the nerve-wrecking "lightning round" is about to start. Chandler and Joey get four questions right, but the girls only manage three (stumbling when asked about what Chandler's job is). As promised, Chandler and Joey swap apartments and start moving their furniture in. Rachel shouts at Joey and Chandler that it was not her fault, but Chandler and Joey refuse to leave since they'd have given up the birds had they lost. Phoebe, still freaked out about the low chances of pregnancy, joins the group, and when the pregnancy test results negative, she sits upside-down on the chair to "let gravity do its job". Frank Jr and Alice come over with another pregnancy test for her, which she takes. Rachel and Monica are still mad at losing the apartment to Joey and Chandler, and a big fight sparks off, when Phoebe comes out of the bathroom with a huge smile on her face - the pregnancy test is positive, and she'll be having her brother's baby.
In the closing credits, Rachel and Monica move into the guys' apartment. Rachel opens an drawer and sees something and the girls scream. Rachel kicks the drawer shut and they complain to each other how they hate the apartment. Meanwhile, Chandler is enjoying his spacious new apartment when he hears a shout from Joey. Joey tells Chandler that the wardrobe is huge, and that they are going to enjoy living there.
Cast and Crew
Kevin S. Bright
In a 2001 review, Entertainment Weekly rates the episode A+, stating that "Thanks to the trivia contest alone, Embryos is quite possibly Friends' finest moment". It singles out Rachel's line "He's a transpon-transpondster!" (in response to the question "What is Chandler Bing's job?") as the best of the episode. The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends call it a "sure-fire contender for the best episode of all time ... not one to be missed under any circumstances".
The episode is the favorite of Cox and LeBlanc. Cox likes the episode because she enjoys playing Monica at her most competitive, while LeBlanc spoke fondly of the pace of the episode and the information about the characters that came out. He identified scenes that featured just the six core cast as the best, "because you don't have to introduce a character -- you don't have to lay any pipeline -- you just get right to the funny".
- The doctor said that when five embryos are transferred, the chance is 25% that she will get pregnant. As it turns out in later episodes she has triplets, which has a chance of approximately 1 in 320,000: less than 0.0004%.
- As of this episode, now all of the Friends, except for Phoebe, have done the Ross' alternative to giving the finger. Indeed Phoebe is the only one never to use it.
- Although the girls lost the contest, they actually proved to know the boys better: two of the correct answers of the boys were out of pure luck because they took shots without really knowing the answers (the name of Ross and Monica's grandma and the number of Monica's towel categories); while one of the incorrect answers of the girls could have been correct because Monica knew it but Rachel didn't let her reply (Chandler's fake name). If it wasn't for those cases, the regular round would have ended 10-8 in favor of the girls and there wouldn't have been a lightning round.
- In the Lightning Round, the guys answer 4 out of 5 correctly, the ladies 3 out of 5.
- It is assumed that Phoebe receives her positive pregnancy test just few days after her IVF procedure, because Monica and Rachel are still packing- in fact, Phoebe is still wearing the same clothes whilst the others have all changed. A woman would not know if her IVF worked until at least 9–10 days past the embryo transfer, usually 14. - Phoebe did say though that her body had always been faster than western medicine.
- In the scene where Phoebe's waiting to be implanted with the embryos, an ultrasound machine is in the background with a visible ultrasound picture of what appears to be a womb, even though Phoebe isn't hooked up to it.
- When Rachel enters her apartment from her early morning shopping trip, she takes off her coat, cut to Chandler then straight back to a shot of Phoebe standing up with Rachel starting to unpack her shopping and Rachel's coat is on the coatrack. This shows an edit as Rachel was beginning to head towards the coatrack immediately before the cut to Chandler.
- The way Ross holds Rachel's cookie box changes when the view switches from a close up view of Ross and Rachel to the long view.
- The episode starts with a reveal that the chick is becoming a Rooster when "she" starts crowing. In "The One With A Chick And A Duck" the fowl are first introduced. That episode aired in April '97 and Joey is inspired to get the chick when watching a news report about Easter. Noting that this episode aired in Jan '98, 3 episodes after the Christmas tree was lit Madison Square Garden, Yasmine would have been 9 months old in this episode but Roosters start crowing at about 4 months old almost without exception.
- When Monica and Rachel find something alive in the drawer of their new apartment and start screaming in the kitchen, the door behind them is closed. The following shot showing them from behind is clearly taken from the hall, as there is not enough space behind them for the camera. You can even see the open apartment door on the right side of the picture.
- When Rachel crosses the boys' apartment to see what is in the drawer, if you look up to the right, you can see a glimpse of a boom mic.
- During the contest, the "extended part" of the living room table, that makes it square is pointing to the couch, but, right after the coin toss, there is a shot where it is shown pointing to the window.
- Between the announcement of the "Lightning Round" and the actual start of it, the score tally under "Men" on the Whiteboard changes from 9 to 8. This is because Ross doesn't mark up the ladies' ninth correct answer and a mark was deducted from the men whilst the stage was reset, rather than added to the ladies.
- The pile of jars on the breakfast table changes between the first scene of the contest and the part immediately after the scene with Phoebe talking to the embryos.
- When the guys win the coin toss, Rachel cheers as well.
- When Chandler says "Miss Chananga Bong", Rachel turns to give him a weird look, the shot changes to show the four friends sitting on the sofa and she's making the same turn again.
- When the camera switches back and forth between Monica and Chandler, the cookery books on the shelf in the background are leaning over. When they shake hands to seal the bet, the books are upright but no-one has moved. Then when Joey and Chandler react to Rachel saying "I'm getting a coyote", the books are leaning again.
- When Chandler and Joey are about to start their turn for the "Lightning Round", Ross says "The Lightning Round begins...stop it.". However, his mouth is not moving for the words "The Lightning Round".
- For the “Lightning Round,” Ross says each team will have 30 seconds to answer as many questions as they can. However, if you time it yourself between the two beeps, the actual time he gives BOTH teams turns out to actually be about 45 seconds.
- When Monica defends the bet to Rachel, she says "If we'd lost, we would've made them get rid of the birds," rather than "If they'd lost..."
- Later in the episode, Rachel says "how'd it go" to which Monica replies "they've lost our mattresses." How can this be true when Rachel and Monica are only moving across the hall?
- When Rachel and Monica live in Chandler and Joey's apartment, there is a microphone up the top of the screen.
- At the beginning of the episode Rachel's CD rack is in the Boy's Apartment when the boys are still living there.
- At the end of the episode when Chandler and Joey live in Monica's apartment, the chick changes positions when Joey tells Chandler how big the sizes of the closets are.
- The Contest for all the answers from the contest
| Preceded by|
"The One With Phoebe's Uterus"
|Season Four Episodes|| Followed by |
"The One With Rachel's Crush"