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"The One With The Mugging" is the fifteenth episode of the ninth season of Friends, which aired on NBC on February 13, 2003.


Joey is stoked to get an audition for a stage play directed by the famous legendary Leonard Hayes, played by Jeff Goldblum, who is also the lead in the play. Joey fails to impress Leonard with his flat audition and is about to get the boot, when one of the producers intervenes. The producer thinks Joey is "hot" and tries to convince Leonard to give Joey another chance. Leonard capitulates, and gives Joey some advice for his return audition. "... you're in your head, you're thinking too much." "Don't learn the words, let the words learn you." "...don't be afraid to explore the vertical."

Joey returns later that evening to audition again, having to pee really bad. Leonard's assistant declines to let Joey pee, so Joey's audition is very jumpy. However Leonard (not knowing he Joey had to pee) mistakes this for an intense performance and loves it and invites him to perform in front of the plays backers.

Meanwhile, When a robber who just took Ross's wallet at gunpoint is recognized by Phoebe as her street friend Lowell, Ross learns that Phoebe used to mug people when she lived on the street. An indignant Ross returns to the coffee house and informs Monica about Phoebe's previous occupation as a mugger. Monica recalls that Ross was mugged as a kid by a huge guy outside St. Mark's Comics, and that the mugger stole his backpack which had all "the original artwork for his own comic book, "Science Boy".

Ross leaves, and Phoebe, memories recalled by Ross' story, admits to Monica that she mugged Ross (he was lying when he claimed a "huge guy" mugged him, embarrassed by the fact that he got mugged by a girl). Phoebe confronts Ross to apologize for mugging him and Ross gets upset. Later, Phoebe brings Ross a box labelled "Crap from the street" in which she kept his comic, "Science Boy" for all the years since she mugged him. Appeased by the return of his long lost comic, Ross thanks Phoebe and the two read over "Science Boy".

Chandler has managed to get himself placed on an internship at an advertising company, and while the internship itself is unpaid there is a possibility he could get a job at the end of it if he impresses enough. He arrives on the first day to find himself far older than everyone else, but he proves wit transcends generations by elaborating the only bright idea for a product which rather appeals to childish Joey, sneakers on roller blade wheels.

Monica reveals to Ross that she told "everyone they know" that he was mugged by a girl instead of a huge guy, like he claimed he was.

Meanwhile Joey figures that "having to pee makes him a really good actor", so he drinks everything he can find in the fridge before heading to his final audition in order to make himself have to pee. Joey returns to the audition with a full bladder and gives another fidgety performance. Joey gets the part and tried to leave to use the bathroom. Leonard stops him and gives him a hug to congratulate him. Joey tries to hold it, but loses control of his bladder after Leonard oats his back very hard. Joey pees his pants while Leonard backs away from him as the episode ends.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Greene
Courteney Cox Arquette - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting Cast

Jeff Goldblum - Leonard Hayes
Teck Holmes - Jordan
Kyle Gass - Lowell
Suzanne Ford - Female Producer
Michelle Anne Johnson - Casting Director
Phill Lewis - Steve


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Peter Tibbais



  • This episode was taped on December 13th, 2002, two months before it aired on February 13th, 2003.
  • Lowell is played by Kyle Gass from the band Tenacious D.
    Monica points out that Ross was not the originator of the "Got Milk?" advertisement. "Got Milk?" is an American advertising campaign that was created in 1993. The ads feature famous actors and athletes drinking and promoting milk with a "milk mustache". Hundreds of ads have been made over the years, including one by Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston.
  • When Rachel tells Chandler that she's not allowed to talk to Ralph Lauren, she's possibly referring to the time when she started the rumor that "someone" made out with him in the copying room in "The One With Ross' Teeth" (S6E8).
  • It is revealed that Phoebe and Ross met each other before Chandler (although they didn't know each other at that time), as Ross met Chandler years later in College and Ross became friends with Phoebe when she was living with Monica. Although it is not revealed throughout the series when exactly they formally meet for the first time.
  • When Chandler arrives at the office and meets the interns, he mentions Bob Hope and the USO. Bob Hope was a comedian, athlete and actor known for his 75 year career in the entertainment field and his involvement with the USO. The USO or United Service Organization is a non profit organization that provides troops and their families with programs, services and live entertainment tours for those at home and serving overseas, which Bob Hope hosted numerous times. He lived to be 100, dying on July 27, 2003, almost 2 months after his 100th birthday and 5 months after this episode was released.
  • When Joey is at his audition, he tells Leonard Hayes he could read his lines in a Southern accent and really does it in a Jamaican accent. This is due to the fact he took classes on how to do a Southern accent that Chandler had paid for but it came out Jamaican due to the instructor. This is revealed in "The One Where Rachel Is Late" (S8E22).
  • Rachel only appears in two scenes in this episode.
  • When Joey runs out of the audition room Jeff Goldblum says "I plant seeds, I can't explain" and deliberately breaks the 4th wall by looking directly into the camera.
  • It's revealed that Lilly, Phoebe's mother who killed herself, was a drug dealer.
  • During the cold opening, one of the extras playing a waitress looks remarkably like Rachel but with her Season 3 hairstyle. This may be the extra used to stand in for Jennifer Aniston in a later scene.


  • Just after the opening credits, in one of the shots when Joey is speaking, there is a different actress standing in for Rachel to Joey's right, wearing different clothes. (This is only visible in the HD versions, as they unmasked the film to expose elements that were not meant to be seen. When originally transmitted in 4:3 format the stand-in was hidden.)
  • When Joey goes into Monica's fridge for a bunch of drinks for his audition he has a variety of drinks, including juice. When the camera goes back to him, he has a completely different set of drink
  • Phoebe and Ross get mugged at night, but when they go to Central Perk just afterwards, you can see sunlight in the background.
  • When Phoebe shows Ross the "Crap From the Street" box in Central Perk, the woman in a beige shirt is shown entering and sitting down twice.
  • The way Ross holds the newspaper changes between shots when Phoebe sits down.
  • Joey has his first audition in the morning and they agree to give him a second chance that afternoon. The next scene, where Phoebe and Ross are mugged, is at night. Then in the following scene, Joey enters Monica's apartment and announces that he is auditioning again that afternoon.
  • When Chandler, Rachel and Monica are discussing the sneakers, Rachel is holding a water bottle. in the next far shot, it is on the table without a cap.
  • At the beginning when Joey is in Monica's apartment eating bacon, you see Joey reach for the bacon from the front, then in the next shot (side on) you see Joey reach for the bacon again.
  • When Rachel is asking Joey what he's doing with all the liquid, her drink changes places depending on the shots.
  • When Ross and Phoebe are mugged Ross tells Phoebe "I knew you'd be the death of me, Phoebe Buffay!" but the mugger doesn't recognize her name, not realizing it's her until she recognizes him.
  • Phoebe tells Ross that "you all have this history that goes way back" but she was a member of the group 3 years before Joey as he was seen moving in with Chandler in a flashback to 1993 ("The One With The Flashback" and Phoebe had been living with Monica for three years at that point.

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Preceded by
"The One With The Blind Dates"
Series Nine Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Boob Job"