Friends Central

"The One With The Proposal" is the double-length season finale of the sixth season of Friends. Both parts aired on May 18, 2000.


As Monica is stunned at Richard's declaration of love, Richard tells her that letting her go was the stupidest thing he's ever done and now he wants to give her marriage and kids, everything she wanted from him before. Monica tells him he's too late and she is with Chandler now but is left thrown when Richard asks if Chandler is willing to give her everything he's offering. The next day while having breakfast, Chandler (in his attempts to convince Monica he's not interested in commitment to make his proposal more surprising) talks about how ridiculous the whole concept of marriage is. However he ends up going too far, and Monica storms off thinking their relationship is not going to go any further.

"Backup" – Ross and Rachel and Phoebe and Joey or the other way around.

Rachel and Phoebe discuss how they both feel happy for Chandler and Monica, but also a little jealous, and Rachel mentions that maybe they should have a "back-up plan" — an arrangement with a friend that, if neither of them is married by the time they are 40, they'll marry each other. Phoebe reveals that she already has one -- Joey. Rachel goes to Ross, hoping to form a similar arrangement, but Ross tells her he already has a back-up plan: Phoebe. Rachel complains that Phoebe can't have two back-up plans, but Phoebe thinks it's just good sense to back-up your back-up, because she's already lost Chandler! When Ross and Joey discover that Phoebe has them both as a back-up, they get angry and say they want to switch to Rachel. Phoebe and Rachel decide to write the two guys' names down on napkins, and they'll each pick one, and that will be their back-up. When Phoebe picks Ross and Rachel picks Joey, they decide to switch the napkins, and Ross and Joey agree with them.

In an attempt to help Chandler with his plan, Joey pretends that Chandler has no interest in ever getting married. Monica, who is getting more and more frustrated, reveals that Richard is willing to give her everything Chandler apparently won't. Joey quickly relays this to Chandler, who realizes he has to stop messing with Monica and propose as soon as possible. Monica goes to see Richard and says wants to be with an adult. When Richard said that that seems fair, Monica says that none of it's fair—fair would have been if Richard had wanted to marry her back when they were together, or if Chandler wanted to marry her now. She tells him she needs some time to think things over and leaves.

Chandler goes to see Richard and tells him that Richard blew his chance, but that he was going to ask Monica to marry him. Richard realizes that Chandler is serious and encourages him to go get Monica, telling him to never let her go. When Chandler gets home, Joey stops him in the hallway and tells him Monica left; that she'd packed a bag and was going to stay with her parents. Chandler becomes depressed, thinking he screwed everything up, but when he enters the apartment, he sees that Monica is there and has decorated the whole apartment with candles. Monica gets down on one knee and tries to propose to Chandler, but she starts crying so much that she can't finish it. Chandler then says he can do it, gets down on one knee with her, and tells her how much he loves her and asks her to marry him. Monica tearfully says yes, and the two celebrate with the others (minus Ross, who isn't there but Rachel reasons he's already done this three times before). Over the closing credits, Monica and Chandler slow dance in the candlelit apartment.

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

Tom Selleck - Dr. Richard Burke


Directed By:
Kevin S. Bright

Written By:
Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen


According to the producers' DVD commentary for this episode, the original plot for Ross was to have Elizabeth announce that she was pregnant, ultimately resolving at the end of the following season when it would be revealed that Ross was not the father of the baby. This idea was ultimately rejected by the producers since it would be investing a lot of time in a secondary character without a payoff. It would have also have been difficult to use the cliffhanger for Rachel's pregnancy.

David Schwimmer's scenes in this two-part finale were front-loaded in production so that he could depart early to film his role in HBO's Band of Brothers over the hiatus. This led to Ross's acknowledged absence from the post-engagement hug.

The episode very nearly served as the series finale, given that NBC and Warner Bros. were in negotiations over the show's future up until four days before the episode aired. The series' stars demanded $750,000 salary for each actor per episode and agreed to a contract for two additional seasons, an agreement that later stretched into a further two seasons at $1 million salary for each of the stars.



  • This is the last appearance of Tom Selleck as Richard Burke, though he is mentioned and his apartment is seen later on.
  • Rachel wears a similar outfit to that she wore at the end of "The One With The Ring" (S6E23).
  • When Joey enters the coffeehouse, Rachel remarks that Tennille is looking for him. This is a reference to the singing duo "The Captain & Tennille".
  • Rachel asks Ross to be her back-up if they're still single when they're 40. Chandler said the same thing to Monica in "The One With The Birth" when the gang were awaiting the arrival of Ross' son, Ben.
  • Richard mentions when he had lunch with Monica a year ago, which occurred off-screen in "The One In Vegas, Part 1" (S5E23).
  • During the proposal, Chandler and Monica are in the exact same positions they were when Chandler nervously proposed back in "The One With The Girl Who Hits Joey" (S5E15).
  • John's Pizzeria is the restaurant where Monica and Chandler talk about the pig's sexuality.
  • At the ending credits, Monica and Chandler are dancing to Wonderful Tonight on the Slowhand album by Eric Clapton.


  • When Monica is hugged by Richard, saying "nothing", both her arms are on his chest. But in the next shot, her arms are around his waist.
  • When Rachel says "It would be nice to have a little guarantee though." in this shot, Phoebe holds the cup with her both hands. In the next shot, she's holding it with only her left hand.
  • When Rachel says "If neither of you are married by the time you're 40" in this shot, her right arm is next to her body. In the next shot, when she finishes her line "You're gonna marry Joey" her right arm is on the couch's arm.
  • During the same scene, Rachel's coat changes position between shots.
  • When Monica is sitting on Richard's sofa, her handbag changes position several times between shots.
  • Rachel wears a ring on her right hand when she's sitting in Central Perk with Phoebe but when she asks Ross to be her back-up she's not wearing a ring.
  • When Joey leaves the apartment just before the proposal, there is the sound of the door shutting as he closes it; however, the door remains ajar and slightly opens for a second before being silently pulled shut again.

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 25
Preceded by
"The One With The Proposal, Part 1"
Series Six Episodes Followed by
"The One With Monica's Thunder"