Friends Central
Friends Central
The One With The Thumb
Season 1, episode 3
3rd overall episode of Friends
Phoebe spotting a thumb in her can.
Episode Information

October 6, 1994

Written by

Jeff Astrof & Mike Sikowitz

Directed by

James Burrows

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One With The Sonogram At The End


The One With George Stephanopoulos


"The One With The Thumb" is the third episode of Friends. It premiered on October 6, 1994. It was written by Jeff Astrof & Mike Sikowitz and directed by James Burrows.


Phoebe comes back from an unsuccessful date, which prompts the gang to discuss dating euphemisms. Ross reveals that he did not know his parents hid the fact that his dog had passed away. Monica is reluctant to introduce her new boyfriend, Alan, to her friends because they have mocked all of her previous boyfriends, but to her surprise, after meeting Alan, they tell her that they love him. However, she later realizes that she does not feel a spark between Alan and herself. She asks her friends if they think that he can sometimes be a little "too Alan". The two break up, and Alan mentions that although he enjoyed being with Monica, he was irritated by the rest of her friends.

Joey has a part in a play where he has to smoke, and practices smoking with Chandler, who resumes his old smoking habit, much to the group's irritation. Phoebe becomes very agitated with her bank when they accidentally put an extra $500 in her bank account. Not able to use the money due to guilt, Phoebe informs the bank of this error. She receives a football phone for the inconvenience. However, instead of removing the $500 from her account, they add another $500 to it. She gives the money and the phone away to Lizzy, a homeless acquaintance on the street. Lizzy buys her a can of soda out of gratitude. When Phoebe opens it, she finds a human thumb, so she receives compensation from the soda company of $7,000. The episode ends with Phoebe giving the $7,000 to Chandler if he promises to never smoke again, which he agrees to.

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

Geoffrey Lower - Alan
Beth Grant - Lizzy
Jenifer Lewis - Paula


Directed By:
James Burrows

Written By:
Jeff Astrof & Mike Sikowitz

Produced By:
Kevin Bright
David Crane
Jeff Greenstein
Marta Kauffman
Todd Stevens
Jeff Strauss


  • This is the first appearance of Chandler and Joey's apartment.
  • This is first time where Chandler is seen at work, and one of the few times he is seen working in a cubicle. Among the items seen in his cubicle are a dart board, a rubber chicken, two "No Smoking" signs, a Bumble Ball, a magic 8-ball, a T-Rex with boxing gloves, two baseball bats, a baseball glove, a plastic spider's web (with bugs), a retractable claw, a snow globe, and a Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap. Many of these will later be seen in his office after he gets promoted.  
  • This is the first time where Chandler's smoking habit is shown, a running gag in the show.
  • Chandler complains to Ross about over pronouncing every single word. Ironically, in "The One With The Ick Factor", the group is making fun of Chandler because of his pronunciation.
  • This is one of the few episodes with scenes that were recorded on an actual city street.
  • Although Phoebe gives Chandler $7,000 to never smoke again, it is seen in later episodes that he does smoke again.
  • This is the first mention of Monica and Ross' dog Chi-Chi. The dog comes up again in "The One In Massapequa" when Monica uses a picture of the dog in her speech in an attempt to make the guests cry.
  • The same scene's mention of a farm is mirrored in "The Last One, Part 1," during a conversation between Joey, Rachel and Phoebe regarding "The Chick and The Duck."
  • Ross says that during the baseball game Alan looked like Bugs Bunny playing all bases. This is a reference to an episode of Looney Tunes titled "Baseball Bugs." (video).
  • Although he's not seen doing so in the episode, Ross is holding a spoon implying he either has done or is about to eat ice cream. Later in the series it emerges Ross doesn't like eating ice cream as it "hurts my teeth".
  • Although not featured on the tub, the brand of ice cream is clearly Häagen Dazs from the label style.
  • The music played when Chandler is sneaking cigarettes at his desk is the same music played in the Season 3 Episode "The One With The Jam", when Malcolm is mistakenly stalking Phoebe.


  • When Phoebe is talking about the $500 in her bank account in the coffeehouse, her cup turns around when the shot changes.
  • In real life, Chandler would have developed lung cancer if he was smoking every day.
  • While Paula and Monica are talking about Alan in their first scene, the color of the salad dressing dispensers in front of them swap over between long shots and full on shots even though no one has touched them.


Phoebe: "...And I found 500 extra bucks in my account."
Chandler: "Ohhh, Satan's minions at work again!"

Phoebe: "It's not mine! If I kept it, it would be like stealing!"
Rachel: "Yeah, but if you spent it, it would be like shopping!"

Rachel: "I should really get back to work."
Phoebe: "Yeah. Otherwise, someone might get what they actually ordered."
Rachel: "Oh ho ho. The hair comes out and the gloves come off."


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
Preceded by
"The One With The Sonogram At The End"
"The One With The Thumb" Followed by
"The One With George Stephanopoulos"