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"The One With The Rumor" is the ninth episode of the eighth season of Friends, which aired on November 22, 2001.


Monica tells her friends that she will not be cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving because of the large amount of leftovers it will create, because Chandler hates Thanksgiving food, Rachel's pregnancy is making her averse to poultry and because Phoebe is a vegetarian. Joey protests, and announces that he will eat the entire turkey himself if necessary. Monica agrees, and Joey finishes the nineteen-pound turkey by the end of the episode, but wearing Rachel's maternity clothes.

Monica tells Rachel that she has invited over an old high-school friend of hers and Ross's called Will Colbert, describing him as "really overweight" and points out that she was known as "his thin friend" to the fact that Monica was also overweight as a child. Rachel does not remember him. Will arrives with a thin figure, pointing out that he lost over 150 pounds and is "going to be on one of them Subway sandwich commercials". When finding out that Ross will be joining them for dinner, he is glad that he'll get to see him again, though when Monica informs him that Rachel will also be coming, he instantly becomes disappointed, and points out that he hates her because she constantly made fun of him during high school.

Throughout dinner, Will is hostile to Rachel, and eventually refreshes her memory about her making his life miserable. She tries to apologize and generally feels bad until he reveals that during high school, he co-created a club against her called "The I Hate Rachel Greene" Club. When asked who the other co-founder was, he reveals that it was Ross, surprising Rachel. Will also reveals that during high school they made a rumor about her being a hermaphrodite. Not only was Rachel unaware of the rumor, but she was also unaware that everyone in her school (and even Chandler's school) knew about it. She reacts tearfully, claiming she never hurt Ross in high school, until Monica reminds her that she started a rumor of her own that Ross made out with the school's 50-year-old librarian, Mrs. Altman. However, Ross freaks out and inadvertently blurts out that it's in fact the truth. When Ross and Rachel argue, Monica reminds them that they are having a child together and that some things are more important than high school. After hearing this, Will is shocked but also proud that he's not marrying her. He attempts to high five Ross, but Ross declines. When attempting to high five anybody in the room, Will gets a hug from Phoebe (who develops a tiny crush on him throughout the whole episode).

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[]

Brad Pitt - Will Colbert


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Shana Goldberg-Meehan


This section is (partially) copied from Wikipedia. There may be an updated version available.

It was reported by Entertainment Weekly that Brad Pitt would don a fat suit for flashback scenes to his fat childhood, though this was unfounded as Will's weight was merely referred to on screen. Pitt frequently visited his then-wife Jennifer Aniston at the studios before and after his appearance, though he did not go onto the set for fear of distracting the audience. When questioned about his appearance in the show, Pitt said it was to promote his upcoming film Spy Game, though he added that he liked the series anyway. The episode was taped on 2 November, following four days of rehearsals.


This section is (partially) copied from Wikipedia. There may be an updated version available.

The episode was watched by 13 million households and 24.24 million viewers overall. As the series finale drew close in 2004, Eric Deggans of St. Petersburg Times ranked Pitt as one of the worst guest stars in Friends: "Stilted reactions, overly exaggerated comedy, near-palpable self-consciousness - despite his cred as a film actor, Pitt knew he was out of his depth on a sitcom stage. After five minutes' viewing, the audience did, too." His work on set is admired by the main stars; Schwimmer recalls Pitt was "definitely [...] going against type" and LeBlanc called him "really great on the show". USA Today rates Will's line "Look at her standing there with those yams. My two greatest enemies, Ross. Rachel Greene and complex carbohydrates" as one of the best of the episode.

The eponymous rumor drew criticism from the Intersex Society of North America, a member of which wrote a strongly-worded letter of complaint to NBC, calling the episode "ignorant, insulting, degrading, and absolutely unprofessional". The member urged the network to learn about intersex individuals via the Society's website and read an on-air apology before future episodes.

Emmy Award nominations[]

Pitt was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearance in the episode. Additionally, Nick McLean was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series, while Stephen Prime was nominated for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Series, also for their work on the episode.



  • Will Colbert, who has despised Rachel since high school, is played by Brad Pitt who was actually Jennifer Aniston's husband at the time this episode was aired.
  • The Magna Doodle shows a globe with One New York, a tribute to 9/11.
  • When Will tells the gang he is going to be in the Subway sandwich commercial because he had lost so much weight, he refers to the 'Subway diet', which was introduced by Jared Fogle, the man who only ate Subway sandwiches to lose weight.
  • At one point when watching the football game, Chandler says to Monica that "Anderson" scored a touchdown and then says to Phoebe that there is no Anderson. In reality, the Detroit Lions had a wide receiver named Scottie Anderson during that game, and he caught their last touchdown. Also, Phoebe said that the Lions won the game although they had actually lost 29-27.
    • Actually, while the Packers and Lions played on Thanksgiving in 2001, the game on the television was from their 2000 meeting. In addition, there were no players named Anderson on either team in that game. The Lions won 31-24.
      • Obviously, it would be impossible for footage from their 2001 meeting - played on the same day as this episode aired and was set on - to have been available.
  • The book Joey was reading at the beginning of the episode is "What To Expect When You're Expecting" which was the exact book Chandler handed over to Phoebe in "The One With Ross' Wedding, Part 1" (S4E23) before leaving the apartment with the group, minus Phoebe and Rachel, to depart for London.
  • In the DVD version, when Rachel finds out about the rumor from Will and Ross, Joey says, "Come on whip it out!" about her male and female reductive parts. This is a callback to when Monica revealed Chandler had a third nipple and Ross asked him to "whip it out" with Rachel adding "yeah, yeah" in "The One With Phoebe's Husband".
  • This is one of the few movies/shows in which Brad Pitt isn't dubbed in the Spanish version by Daniel García, due to him voicing Joey on this show.
  • This episode was used as "B is for Brad Pitt" in the Nick at Nite Friends A-Z Event (January 2023).


  • Rachel says to Ross "So, Ross, we went out for two years and you never told me that you were in an 'I Hate Rachel' Club?" However, Ross and Rachel broke up on their first anniversary as shown in "The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break" (S3E15) and again in "The One With The Morning After" (S3E16).
  • At the end of the episode, when Joey comes in for the turkey he pulls the chair out twice.
  • When Ross is explaining his romance with the school librarian, the reflection in the mirror behind him (in the guest bedroom) changes between shots.
  • A past Thanksgiving episode shows that Monica is quite capable of understanding and even playing football, so it is highly unlikely that she would be fooled so easily by Chandler and Phoebe faking their interest in the game on TV. Chandler has been shown to watch the parade which has been acknowledged several times in past episodes.
  • Brad Pitt is uncredited in this episode on DVD.

External links[]

Episode Navigation[]

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Preceded by
"The One With The Stripper"
Series Eight Episodes Followed by
"The One With Monica's Boots"