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"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, being very grumpy. 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.

The Grand Entrance

Joey and Chandler's grand entrance into their new apartment.

At Monica's apartment, 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 with personal questions, Ross being the judge and quiz maker. 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 a 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[]

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[]

Giovanni Ribisi - Frank Buffay Jr.
Debra Jo Rupp - Alice Knight
Cindy Katz - Dr. Zane


Directed By:
Kevin S. Bright

Written By:
Jill Condon & Amy Toomin


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 Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc. Courteney likes the episode because she enjoys playing Monica at her most competitive, while Matt 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 568: Less than 0.2%.
  • As of this episode, now all of the Friends, except for Phoebe, have done Ross' alternative to giving the finger. Indeed Phoebe is the only one never to use it, and also the only one to whom it wasn't directed at.
  • Chandler and Joey jokingly comment "cool, girl roommate" when Rachel says she's not moving. In fact both will have girl roommates later in the series when Rachel moves in with Joey and when Chandler moves in with Monica. (Ross also has Rachel and briefly Phoebe as a roommate).
  • One of the answers is about Chandler's father's show in Las Vegas. We see him and part of his show in "The One With Chandler's Dad".
  • This episode was used as "A is for Apartment Bet" in the Nick at Nite Friends A-Z Event (January 2023).
  • It can be said that Ross is the one who knows his friends best, as he made the quiz and knew all the answers.


  • 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 while 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.
  • When the gang are first discussing the questions for the quiz, Rachel's arms change position between shots.
  • After Monica mockingly asks Joey if he's scared, it cuts to a long view of the group. One can see a mic appear over Monica from the top of the screen. Another appears above Chandler when Joey asks "Who makes up the questions?"
  • 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. In the same scene, the close up shows Ross putting the part eaten cookie into the box but in the long view he does so again.
  • 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" (S3E21) 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.
  • During the lightning round, you can see that 10 question cards have been removed from the board for then men but only 9 are removed for the girls. There should have been 10 removed as girls scored 9 points and answered one incorrectly.
  • 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 while 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 Chanandler 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..."
  • 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.
  • When Ross stops the timer at the end of the lightning round, it reads 5:23, rather than 0:00.
  • In this episode, Phoebe claims that she believes in gravity, yet in "The One Where Heckles Dies", she denies that it exists.
  • When Ross says "the test is ready" you can see theres no setup or board for the questions however after a 2 second running scene, the board and setup are all there even though ross would have no time to set it up that fast( even though it is shown to be ross setting it up but it can only be seen him letting go of the board which would be impossible for him to pick up the board (seemingly from off stage seeing he is standing next to the end of the set and there is no board in sight) and place it onto the chair in that short span of time.
  • When Frank and Alice enter Monica's apartment, Frank is holding the bag from the top, but when he shows it to Pheobe, he is suddenly holding it from the side


See also[]

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 Phoebe's Uterus"
Season Four Episodes Followed by
"The One With Rachel's Crush"