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"The One With The Screamer" is the twenty-second episode of the third season of Friends, which aired on April 24, 1997.


Joey gets tickets for his friends to see him premiere in the play. Ross surprises Rachel when he announces he is bringing a date, but in retaliation Rachel also says she is bringing a date, and comes with Tommy, a seemingly perfectly normal guy. However, he turns out to be an aggressive, testosterone-fueled bully who intimidates and frightens an elderly couple sitting in his and Ross' seats by, for no necessary reason, yelling his throat hoarse at them, and then calms down instantly, seemingly in a good mood now. However, as Ross is the only witness to this, Rachel doesn't believe him when he tries to warn her what an aggressive bully Tommy is, assuming he's just making up the story about Tommy screaming at the elderly couple and then calming down instantly in order to split them up and have her all to himself and hide his time when he lost his temper.

The play takes place, and Ross blows his date off when he starts focusing attention on Tommy (waiting for him to scream his head off) rather than on her. She leaves, and the director brings the early edition of the newspaper containing the review of the play. He's furious to find that the review is pretty much abysmal about everything, even the direction, and storms off. Kate, still destroyed by the review, reveals to Joey that the director dumped her after the review, and Joey supports her by staying with her at her apartment, where she passes out, and the two spend "the night" - talking to each other about their feelings. Soon after, Ross, still disapproving of Tommy, almost spills hot coffee over him. The bully intimidates Ross by ranting and shouting insults at him before calming down just as instantly as he did before, apparently in a good mood afterwards. Rachel still hangs out with Tommy despite Ross' advice, but when she, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and Ross see him shout and rant insults at the chick and the duck after the chick urinates in his hand, she and the others realize Ross was right about him being an aggressive bully with little apparent control over his anger, and when Tommy can see that they are all clearly scared of him now, the bully breaks up with her before leaving.

Joey's new relationship with Kate does not last long, as Kate obtains a part in General Hospital in LA and leaves Joey, though not without watching him perform the play with understudy Lauren. Joey's final lines in the play take special meaning since as the character says goodbye in the play, he looks at Kate and is really also telling Kate how much her leaving matters to him too. The ending of the play is a bit of a surprise.

Phoebe spends a lot of time on the phone support line to claim the warranty on her broken phone. The support line keeps telling Phoebe that she's next in line, but Phoebe never gets picked up. She keeps herself busy by swapping Monica's and Rachel's stuff in each other's rooms, but when two days pass and she's still not picked up (by a Utah number, contrary to what Phoebe believed was a toll-free number), the guys make her. Phoebe breaks Monica's phone in the process, and she gives Monica the number of the company she can call.

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

Ben Stiller - Tommy
Jon Favreau - Pete Becker
Dina Meyer - Kate Miller
Reg Rogers - The Director
June Gable - Estelle Leonard
Jennifer Milmore - Lauren
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Jeff Brooks - Stage Manager
Peter Bonerz - Theater Patron
Scott Sandler - Jonny
Laura Cayouette - Cailin


Directed By:
Peter Bonerz

Written By:
Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott Silveri


  • This is the only episode in which Monica, Rachel, Ross and Chandler see Estelle. Thus, this leaves only Phoebe never meeting her. Also, despite Phoebe having never met explicitly Estelle, the former was able to imitate the latter's voice after she passed away in "The One Where Estelle Dies" (S10E15). Phoebe probably heard Estelle's voice when she answered the telephone to tell him he had an audition for Days of Our Lives and on other occasions.
  • This is the only episode where Monica and Pete are in a stable relationship and they are not involved in any storyline. In the uncut DVD version of the episode, Monica constantly casually references her relationship with Pete. Monica also tells Phoebe she will kill her if Pete calls and she doesn't put him through.
  • Ben Stiller guest stars as Tommy, Rachel's date, in this episode. Stiller would co-star alongside David Schwimmer in the Madagascar animated film series but unlike in this episode, their characters are friends in the animation films.
  • Aside from the brief scene across the hall where the gang observe Tommy shouting at the chick and the duck, Phoebe is in Monica and Rachel's apartment for the whole episode.
  • This is the last appearance of Kate Miller.
  • Although not really a running gag on the show, Phoebe is shown to be quite accident-prone, and also has a tendency to ruin most things she touches.
    • In this episode, she breaks her own and Monica's phones.
    • In "The One With The Flashback" (S3E6), she reveals to Monica that she stained her couch pillow from one side with an ink dot, and with a big spaghetti stain on the other.
    • In "The One With The Hypnosis Tape" (S3E18), she stains her tablecloth with mustard (although she does this as bait for Alice to talk her out of marrying her little brother Frank Jr.).
    • In "The One With All The Candy" (S7E9), she keeps falling off the bike she receives as a gift from Ross (until she has training wheels attached to her bike at the end of the episode).
    • In "The One Where Chandler Takes A Bath" (S8E13), Phoebe returns Monica's iron only to reveal that she had broken it.
    • In "The One With The Lottery" (S9E18), she drops the bowl that holds all the lottery tickets on the street.
  • 7 years later in 2004, Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller pair up again going out with each other in Along Came Polly.
  • Nine years later in 2006 Ben Stiller would play Larry Daley, the night security guard, in The Night at The Museum alongside Robin Williams who makes a cameo appearance in "The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion". They reprised their roles in the 2009 and 2014 sequels. Larry works at the same museum in New York as Ross does in Friends.
  • During the start of the episode, Rachel is seen wearing the "Adidas Stan Smith" tennis shoes.
  • It's clear that at the end of this episode, Rachel and Ross are friends again although they fall out again for a time next season for a few weeks after "The One With The Jellyfish" (S4E1).
  • General Hospital is a long-running medical drama which started in 1963 on ABC television and up to October 2018 had over 14000 episodes.
  • In 2013, Ben Stiller would star in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty alongside Sean Penn who appears later in the series as Eric, Ursula Buffay's fiancé, in "The One With The Halloween Party".
  • Joey mentions that the job he gave up to act in the play was de-clawing cats. The State of New York outlawed this in 2019, about 22 years after this episode aired. 


  • When the director is reading the paper about the play, Ross moves place without time to do so.
  • When Tommy is screaming at the chick, he's holding paper he used to clean his hands. He puts the paper down, but when the camera angle changes it's in his hand again.
  • When Gunther brings Chandler the cup of coffee from the woman at the bar, Chandler takes it with his right hand. In the next shot, he is holding it with his left hand, which was on the couch's arm. More ahead, when he's going to drink, he's not holding it by its handle, but when he drinks, he is. Also, in this sequence, the way Monica is holding her cup changes between shots too.
  • At the end of the episode, Phoebe says "its a good thing that it's one of those 801 numbers" Then Ross says that's a Utah number and Phoebe says "No the company number has to be 800". She contradicts herself. First she says that the company number is good because it is 801 then she says no the company number is good because it is 800 which would make it toll free. She confused herself and messed up.
  • When the director reads the line in paper "Mr. Tribbiani is not the worst thing in the production" and Joey goes all "yesss!!", a second later we see a hand coming in the frame at top right side which grabs Joey's head from behind as if trying to position it and then goes away, later in wider shot no such person is apparent to whom the hand could have belonged. This was really weird. (That hand belongs to Chandler and is probably meant to be a congratulations touch. The hand moves from Rachel's right shoulder to the back of Joey's head.)
  • When Joey is holding the ladder, his hands change places as the angle changes between shots.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With A Chick And A Duck"
Series Three Episodes Followed by
"The One With Ross' Thing"