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"The One With The Two Parties" is the twenty-second episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on NBC on May 2, 1996. In this episode, Rachel gets a real surprise when her parents show up at her birthday party.


At Monica's new workplace, the Moondance Diner, the guys discuss Rachel's birthday. Monica wants to throw a classy party, but the others disagree. The invite list is almost made up, but on Rachel's revelation that her parents yelled at each other during her sister's graduation, Monica invites only Rachel's mother to the party to avoid conflict.

As the party's about to start, Rachel's father shows up unexpectedly. The guys hide him in Rachel's room when Rachel's mother shows up for the party. Phoebe distracts Mrs. Greene while the guys take Dr. Greene to their apartment, along with streamers from the party. Following their romantic dinner, Rachel is "surprised" to find a party for her, although not as surprised to have two parties - each of which has one of her parents.

Quickly things begin to go wrong. Monica rules over her party with an iron fist, complete with some boring games and a strict adherence to the rules. As a result, guests start abandoning the party and heading to Chandler and Joey's bash, which is a lot more fun and laid back. Meanwhile, Ross tries to bond with Rachel's parents, but makes a fool of himself. Rachel, on the other hand, has other problems on her mind, as she tries to spend time with both her mother and her father but the two find only negative things to say about each other, which is driving her crazy. When Ross goes to fetch Rachel's dad his drink, his glasses and cigarettes, Sandra spots him and recommends Rachel see a therapist (believing that Rachel chose to date a man exactly like her father).

Amazingly, despite numerous problems, the six friends manage to get both of Rachel's parents out of the parties without seeing each other. As Dr. Greene leaves Monica's, Joey turns Rachel's mom and kisses her on the lips until Rachel's dad is gone. Mrs. Greene slaps Joey lovingly on the cheek, exclaiming how this was the best party she's been to in years.

Since Monica had made a birthday flan instead of a birthday cake which everyone hates, they plot to destroy it so that nobody has to eat it. Phoebe tells Rachel to make that special flan wish and she does while Chandler yells heads up and tosses a ball over it which lands smack down on the flan destroying it and fulfilling Rachel's special wish.

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

Marlo Thomas - Sandra Greene
Ron Leibman - Leonard Greene
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Nancy Rubin - Guest
Lewis Dix Jr. - Man


Directed By:
Michael Lembeck

Written By:
Alexa Junge


Rachel: Honey, can you keep Dad occupied? I'm gonna go talk to Mom for a while.
Ross: Okay, do you have any ideas for any openers?
Rachel: Let's just stay clear of "I'm the guy that's doing your daughter" and you should be okay.



  • This episode appears on the Friends - The One With all the Birthdays DVD.
  • Rachel hypothesizes that her father will get a condo and her sister will decorate it in wicker. In "The One With Rachel's Other Sister" (S9E8), Rachel's sister Amy mentions she decorated their father's office.
  • The name of Rachel's sister Jill is confirmed in this episode; Jill later appears in "The One With Rachel's Sister" (S6E13).
  • This is the only episode in which both of Rachel's parents appear. This is also the first appearance of Rachel's dad.
  • Despite Joey telling Ross that he "broke the code" by making out with Chandler's mom in "The One With Mrs. Bing" (S1E11), he kisses Rachel's mom at the end of this episode. It's also true, however, that as the guys are avoiding making her and her ex-husband meet at any cost, this wouldn't count as a genuine gesture on his behalf but only a desperate measure to call for in desperate times.
  • Ross is shown not to bond very much with Rachel's dad - especially when the former makes a fool of himself and is then caught wearing the latter's glasses and having one of his cigarettes in his mouth. Only at the end of the seventh episode of Season 3 do the two bond a little. However, the bonding is very temporary and following the Season 3 episode, Ross and Dr. Greene fall back to disliking each other onwards.
  • Rachel's habit of exchanging gifts is mentioned again when Ross tells her "now you can exchange them (the earrings) if you want". He says a similar thing to her in "The One With Christmas In Tulsa".
  • This is the only time either of Rachel's parents are seen at any of her birthdays.
  • It is sometimes speculated that Rachel is Jewish. When talking with Chandler about divorce in the hallway, she lists holidays where her family is now going to be separate and she lists Christmas.


  • In this episode Rachel's dad smokes. However, in "The One Where Rachel Smokes", Rachel has stated she does not smoke because 'her dad is a doctor and he has told her many horror stories about smoking' alluding to the fact that her dad wouldn't smoke either due to his profession and the advice he gave Rachel. However, it's possible that he made up those stories because he didn't want Rachel to smoke like he does.
  • Gunther wears a wedding ring while talking to Phoebe about leaving Monica's party.
  • Monica shouts in Joey and Chandler's "Hey, You and you, you are meant to be at my party!!", while Rachel's father was there. However, they didn't want him to know about the other party. Although it is possible that he did not hear Monica over the music.
  • Chandler briefly looked at the camera when Monica called Joey out for staring at her fake boobs. (At around 0:46 minute mark.)
  • When Phoebe is talking to Gunther she has two red pens as well as a red and blue pen. The shot changes and the red pens have gone.
  • Several goofs involving the characters arms are shown:
    • When Phoebe is planning to get the people out of Monica's party, when she says "There isn't time!" her right arm's position change between shots.
    • When Ross, Rachel and her mom are discussing smoking, it changes from her right hand near her face to her left when the shot changes to show Ross' face. (This is because Rachel can be seen laughing at the cigarette popping out of the cigarette carton.).
    • When Rachel's mom says "You've chosen a boyfriend exactly like your father." her arms change between these shots.
    • Later, when Rachel is talking to Chandler, she says "My mom there, my dad there. Thanksgiving, Christmas." the position of her left arm also changes between shots.
  • In the staircase when Chandler gives Rachel a hug, the apartment door is open. In the next shot the same door is fully closed and Ross opens it. Not an error because the door is shown being closed, then in the next shot Ross opens it. The first scene stops before the door closes completely, but someone is clearly closing it.
  • When Rachel, Ross and Chandler are talking about her parents, Rachel twists briefly away from Ross then the shot changes and she's making the same twist again.
  • When Phoebe attempts to distract Monica, Rachel can be seen standing up in the foreground but when Ross enters she's still sitting down and stands up to come and talk with Ross and her mom.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With The Bullies"
"The One With The Two Parties" Followed by
"The One With The Chicken Pox"