Friends Central

"The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy" is the third season premiere. It aired on NBC on September 19, 1996. It was written by Michael Curtis & Gregory S. Malins and directed by Gail Mancuso.


Joey tries to convince the group to get rid of Janice again.

The episode begins with the group walking into Central Perk and discovering that their couch is already occupied by some other people. They stand at the doorway for a moment, before slowly walking back out the door in shock.

Monica is still crushed by her break-up with Richard and hasn't slept in days. Ross even picks her up from The Szechuan Dragon when she believes she works there. When her father Jack drops by to talk to her, he reveals to her that Richard is also a mess - much more than he was after his marriage - which is good enough for Monica to start getting some closure with him. She finally falls asleep.

Joey cannot stand that Chandler is dating Janice again. He tries to talk to the group about how to get rid of her, but they seem to have accepted her into the group. Chandler finds out that Joey has a problem with Janice and tells her. Janice talks to Joey and drags him with her and hangs out with him for a whole day. Although Joey pretends to have had fun, he still can't stand the woman, but Chandler appreciates his gesture and his efforts to like her.

Ross can't help but see Judy as Princess Leia.

Rachel asks Ross what his secret fantasy is. He recounts the Return Of The Jedi scene where Princess Leia is shown as Jabba's prisoner wearing her notorious gold bikini. She tells Phoebe about it, and Phoebe makes a joke in front of Ross while holding two buns to the side of her head to look like Leia. Although at first appalled that Rachel shared his private fantasies with her friends, Ross tries to do the same with Chandler, but Chandler scares him off when he tells him how he imagines his mother when he's having sex with a girl (something which Joey does too, albeit with Chandler's mom in his head and not his own mother).

Ross is about to fulfill his fantasy with a Rachel dressed exactly like Princess Leia, but Chandler's scary sexual fantasy kicks in and he start seeing his mother Judy in the Leia outfit. As Ross states about Chandler, "that bastard ruined my [his] life".

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

Elliott Gould - Jack Geller
Christina Pickles - Judy Geller
Maggie Wheeler - Janice


Directed By:
Gail Mancuso

Written By:
Michael Curtis & Gregory S. Malins



  • This is the only season premiere that doesn't pick up immediately after the events of the previous season finale. The fact that Chandler is back with Janice, having got back together near the end of the previous episode could be interpreted as a continuation of the events in the finale.
  • This is the first episode where Rachel does not wear the "Rachel" hair. It is also the first episode since "The One With The Blackout" (S1E07) where her hair is long. Her hair continues to be long until "The One With Ross' Library Book" (S7E07).
  • When the gang walks into Central Perk, the couch is occupied by the writers of season three of Friends.
  • The contestant on Wheel of Fortune is actually Michael Curtis, one of the writers of this episode.
  • Chandler suggests that Joey should go on Wheel of Fortune. Later in the series Joey appears on another game show, Pyramid, with Michael Curtis.
  • When Phoebe is trying to use aromatherapy on Monica, Phoebe suggests she think of her (Phoebe's) happy place but please don't move anything. This is an ironic comment as Monica is normally the person who insists things go in a certain place and mustn't be moved, (In a previous episode Rachel moved the green ottoman much to Monica's displeasure. )
  • In this episode the cast members turn up to Central Perk and find their sofa occupied. This only happens two other times: in "The One With Unagi" and "The One Where Chandler Gets Caught".
  • Star Wars creator George Lucas sent the production team a letter, congratulating them on Ross' Princess Leia fantasy, which opened series 3 and is mentioned in the title.
  • The book Chandler is reading in Central Perk is "Trout: An Illustrated History" by James Prosek published 1996.
  • When Chandler and Ross are "sharing", Chandler mentions two important future characters: Elle Macpherson and "that girl at the Xerox place":
  • Chandler and Janice remain together until "The One With The Giant Poking Device".
  • When Ross and Rachel are in bed discussing fantasies, Rachel asks Ross if he still has the naval uniform which he wore in "The One With The Chicken Pox" (S2E23).
  • During his argument with Rachel in the apartment, Ross mentions that Joey slept with a stripper. Joey does this again in "The One With The Worst Best Man Ever" and loses Ross' wedding ring.
  • When Ross and Rachel come back to her apartment after he has found out she told Phoebe, Ross gets an ice cream out of the fridge and takes a bite, although in "The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs" Ross admits that he doesn't like ice cream, because it hurts his teeth. However, there are a few examples that contradicts that previous statement.


  • When Monica drops the hair in Ross' plate, Rachel is seating upright, leaning on the back rest. The angle changes she is instantly leaning forward, her elbow is on the table and her chin rests on her hand. (This can be seen in the wide-screen version of the episode.) In fact the position of Rachel's arms changes several times instantly during the scene.
  • In the scene where Janice tells Chandler about Joey and Janice's Day of Fun the position of her hair changes from in front of her shoulders to behind between shots.
  • Also in the same scene, a spoon disappears from Rachel's hand instantly.
  • When Ross and Rachel come back to her apartment after he has found out she told Phoebe, Ross gets an ice cream out of the fridge and takes a bite, however when the shot goes back to him a few seconds later the ice cream is whole.
    • The ice cream is almost fully unwrapped, but after Ross says "...the night of 5 times" the ice-cream is less than half-unwrapped, then from a different angle it is fully unwrapped again.
  • When Rachel is dressed up as Princess Leia, she uses the legendary metal bikini, but she also is with the "cinnamon bun" hairstyle. In Return of the Jedi, Leia's hair while in the metal bikini was a pony tail (although the "cinnamon bun" hairstyle is easily her most iconic look). Ironically Rachel asks Ross if the hair's wrong.
  • When Rachel and Ross are talking about the most romantic song ever, in the first shot, Rachel's elbow is on the table. In the next shot, is not anymore. Also her legs change from crossed and uncrossed with each shot change.
  • When Monica first stands at the coffee table, she's holding a jug of orange juice but in the next she's got an empty glass and the juice is on the table.
  • When Phoebe says "and disappear into the night." she's not holding anything, but in the next shot, she's holding a cup on her left hand.
  • When Joey asks Chandler to confirm without blinking that he's not breaking up with Janice, Chandler actually blinks about a second before Joey blows in his direction.


  • At the end of the episode, Monica and Ross' father Jack smokes the cigar Monica left on the coffee table. As his wife is away on bridge night, Monica is asleep and Ross isn't there, this implies that he smokes secretly. This he does at least once again in "The One Where Rosita Dies", where he lights up a cigarette out of guilt of ruining Monica's childhood memories by blocking the flood with her boxes.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding"
"The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy" Followed by
"The One Where No One's Ready"