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"The One With The Metaphorical Tunnel" is the fourth episode of the third season of Friends, which aired on NBC on October 10, 1996.


Phoebe impersonates an agent to get Joey some auditions. However, he has trouble getting parts because of his acting. Phoebe is more straightforward with Joey about this than Estelle, but although he initially appreciates it, he reveals to her that her straightforward comments might not be what he needs in his career, and goes back to Estelle for an agent.

As things move forward with Janice, Chandler starts to freak out about commitment and goes to the guys for advice. Joey tells him to face his fear so Chandler meets with Janice and gives her a drawer. She thinks he's sweet, until he overdoes his bit and ends up declaring they should take a trip with her parents and that he and Janice move in together. This scares her off for a while as she declares things are moving too fast.

Chandler is then forced to turn to Monica and Rachel for relationship advice as they feed him low-fat soy ice cream as they don't consider him terminal enough to eat the real stuff. To do some damage control, they advise him to run into Janice on purpose and act aloof to show he is not needy. Chandler runs into Janice at the grocery store and pretends to be going to a party. However, this backfires when Janice realizes what he is doing, forcing him to flee the store. While he is being consoled by the girls who offer him the "good" ice cream, Janice calls and Chandler confesses how he just wants to move forward in his relationship with her because he's crazy about her. When the two admit they love each other, the girls consider it terminal enough for them to start eating the "good" part of the ice cream themselves.

On his weekend visit, Ben shows up with a Barbie doll clutched in his hand. Ross tries to interest him in GI Joe and dinosaurs instead. When Carol and Susan confront him, displeased at his actions, Monica reveals that he used to dress up as a woman and host tea-parties and made his parents and Monica call him "Bea", much to his embarrassment.

The episode closes with an old film reel of little Ross dressed up as a woman hosting one such tea-party. He spills tea all over the table, squeals like a girl and flees from the camera, while Monica jumps in to wipe up the spill.

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

Charles Thomas Allen - Ben Geller
John Christopher Allen - Ben Geller
Edo Azran - Young Ross
Jessica Hecht - Susan Bunch
Sierra Dawn Hill - Young Monica
Jane Sibbett - Carol Willick
Maggie Wheeler - Janice
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)
Doug Benson - Coffee shop customer (uncredited)


Directed By:
Steve Zuckerman

Written By:
Alexa Junge


  • In this episode, Susan wears the same grey shirt that says "Girls" on it as Rachel in season six's "The One Where Ross Dates A Student", except that on Susan's shirt, the font is purple and on Rachel's shirt, it's green. Monica also wears this in "The One With The Morning After".
  • At the beginning of the episode, Joey is featured in the Milk-Master commercial as the guy who can't pour milk. In "The One With The Tiny T-Shirt", his fellow actress Kate recognizes him from the commercial despite him featuring in quite a few episodes of Days Of Our Lives, and makes fun of him by telling others to ask Joey to open their milk cartons. Later in the episode Rachel is seen using a Milk-Master just after criticizing Ross for trying to get Ben to give up the Barbie.
  • In the uncut DVD episode, Chandler switches channel after the Milk-Master advert and Joey appears in a similar style advert for threading a needle.
  • This is the second time Chandler's fear of commitment is shown. (The first time was in the episode, "The One Where Heckles Dies" in Season 2: Episode 3.) In later episodes, most notably in "The One With Monica and Chandler's Wedding", Chandler almost whites out of his wedding because of he and Monica being "the Bings".
  • Chandler wears a t-shirt with the stamp "Guggenheim New York". When Chandler and Janice meet anonymously online in "The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding", they visit together the website of the Guggenheim museum because, as Chandler explains to Phoebe, Janice likes art and he likes funny words.
  • The supermarket where Chandler "accidentally" bumps into Janice is a branch of D'Agostino Supermarkets founded in 1932 by brothers Pasquale and Nicola D'Agostino. However due to financial problems only 10 stores out of 26 remained open by 2016.
  • Visible in the background in the coffeehouse scene behind Phoebe when she tells Joey he didn't get the callback is Doug Benson who later plays Tom in "The One Where Ross Moves In".
  • Rachel comments to Monica after Janice calls Chandler and they make up "if it was a guy, he'd be sleeping with someone else by now". Ross and Rachel have a worse fight in "The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break" and Ross sleeps with Chloe the same night, all be it after getting drunk.
  • Phoebe comments that in feedback from his audition, the casting lady said "she'd never heard a worse Italian accent". This joke is reused when Joey is giving advice to Mike regarding Phoebe.


  • In the end of this episode where they show a homemade video of Ross when he was a child and dressed as a girl, Monica is also seen as child, but as thin, despite the fact that they always refer to her as fat Monica and talk about how big she was when she was a little girl. Although, in "The One Where Rachel Quits" (and Ross has to sell Brown Bird cookies), Monica says that it was when she joined the Brown Birds was when she started gaining weight.
  • Chandler's French Vanilla ice cream tub is held in several different positions through out the scene. Also at one point in the uncut episode the tub changes to the same purple color as the apartment walls.
  • Rachel puts the ice cream tub and spoon down behind Chandler but a few shots later they appear back in her hand again.
  • When Phoebe gets the page saying the casting director wants to speak to her, Rachel stands up and leaves her cleaning cloth on the coffee table. However when Rachel's standing behind the counter, she has the cleaning cloth folded up in front of her even though she never returned to the coffee table.
  • When Monica is telling Carol and Susan about Ross dressing up as a woman, Ross takes a gulp of a 'Strawberry and Kiwi' drink. In the season 2 episode "The One With The Baby On The Bus" it's established that Ross is allergic to kiwi. However it's possible that it didn't contain real kiwi juice.

External links

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Preceded by
"The One With The Jam"
Series Three Episodes Followed by
"The One With Frank Jr."