The One With Unagi
Season 6, episode 17
138th overall episode of Friends
Episode Information

February 24, 2000

Written by

Adam Chase (teleplay)
Zack Rosenblatt (story)

Directed by

Gary Halvorson

Alternate titles

The One With The Mixed Tape

Episode Guide

The One That Could Have Been, Part 2


The One Where Ross Dates A Student


"The One With The Unagi" is the seventeenth episode of the sixth season of Friends, which aired on February 24, 2000. 



Ross scares Rachel and Phoebe, yelling "Danger!"

Joey is broke but needs money fast for new head shots, so he is determined to get enrolled for another medical experiment. Since the only one is available is for identical twins, he hires a fellow actor Carl to play his fictitious twin named Tony. This plan obviously fails from working because Carl looks very different from Joey, but that doesn't stop Joey from blaming him. 

Because Monica had work on Valentine's Day, Chandler tells the group that the two of them are celebrating tonight. After Joey suggests that they each book a day at one of those romantic spas, Chandler says that he and Monica have decided to make each other home made presents this year, however Chandler has forgotten to make one for Monica. Phoebe offers to give him a sock-bunny for a present but he declines. At his scours their bedroom for a present, he finds a mix-tape at the bottom of the closet at the last second and gives that to Monica. In return, he receives one of Phoebe's sock-bunnies from Monica, who had obviously also forgotten. Feeling guilty over giving such a lousy gift while Chandler actually seemingly put effort into his, Monica promises to make all Chandler's wishes come true in the kitchen and in the bedroom.

The following day, Monica becomes the perfect girlfriend as she showers Chandler with love, attention and gifts (which Chandler doesn't feel too guilty about receiving). However, that night Monica decides to listen to Chandler's mix tape, and the two share a romantic moment dancing... until Janice's voice appears on the tape, her having given it to Chandler on one of his birthdays. Monica is furious and Chandler begs for forgiveness.

Monica starts to come round only for the tape, which is still playing, to start playing Janice's recorded voice again, which causes Monica to storm away to bed and Chandler is consigned to the couch for the night.


"Ahhh! Salmon Skin Roll."

Phoebe and Rachel take self-defense classes that have them bragging about how they can kick anyone's ass. Ross tells them that after years of studying karate he has learned that self-defense is useless without Unagi, a state of total awareness. Rachel and Phoebe tell him that Unagi is a sushi and that there's no such thing, with Chandler later telling him the same thing. After Ross jump scares them, the two return the favor in his apartment. This causes Ross to sneak into Phoebe's apartment but he fails to hide successfully, as the girls notice him as they enter their home. They easily subdue him, which causes Ross to go to their instructor to ask how to fight them off, but he doesn't explain himself clearly, failing to explain that Rachel and Phoebe attacked him first, causing him to come across as a man who enjoys attacking women, especially his ex-wife. The instructor of course, disagrees to help Ross.

At the end, Ross sees the backs of two blonde-haired women near Central Perk and attacks them from behind, only to be attacked back. As he is running away from them he pauses for a second to see Rachel and Phoebe staring at him from a window at Central Perk, and he runs away in fear as he realizes the unknown women are chasing him.

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

Louis Mandylor - Carl
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Jill Matson-Sachoff - The Receptionist
Ron Recasner - The Doctor
Mongo Brownlee - The Instructor
Maggie Wheeler - Janice (uncredited, voice only)
Preston James Hillier - Joey Clone (uncredited)
Shane Keller - Twin #2 (uncredited)


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Zachary Rosenblatt & Adam Chase


  • Phoebe is correct, "unagi" is the Japanese word for freshwater eel. "Zanshin" is the Japanese word closest to the concept Ross is trying to tell the girls about. The reason might be explained as either Ross never learned Japanese or that he misunderstood the concept.
  • Ross explains to Chandler that his Saturn V Rocket model is from the Apollo 8 mission and that Apollo 8 did not land on the moon but instead orbited the moon twice and returned safely to Earth. In fact, Apollo 8 orbited the moon a total of ten times, not two.
  • Chandler's hair is much longer starting in this episode and until the first episode of season 7.
  • Monica mentions she called him a bunny. This was in "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" when they were discussing Phoebe hitting on him. Later in the series, in "The One With The Halloween Party", Monica dresses Chandler up in a pink bunny costume.
  • In this episode, the cast members turn up to Central Perk and find their sofa occupied. This only happens two other times: in "The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy" and in "The One Where Chandler Gets Caught".
  • Maggie Wheeler makes an uncredited voice-only appearance as Janice Litman, making Season 6 the only season in which Janice does not physically appear.
  • Phoebe mentions Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek and Chuck Woolery, which Rachel then tells her "you will not find a single game show host whose ass I cannot kick". Pat Sajak is the current host of Wheel of Fortune, Alex Trebek is the host of Jeopardy and Chuck Woolery was the former host of Love Connection, Wheel of Fortune and Lingo.
  • Oddly, Gladys' hair in this episode is blonde.
  • Rachel must still have a key for Ross' apartment from her time living there (she was going to make a copy immediately after Ross offered to let her move in but the store was closed) or she and Phoebe wouldn't be able to enter while he's not there (actually, earlier, Monica kept Ross' key in a drawer, Rachel may have gotten this one). Similarly Ross must have a key for Phoebe and Rachel's apartment.
  • When Joey suggests that Chandler make a pair of crutchless knickers, Chandler says "luckily her boyfriend and brother can't hear that", also present is Rachel, her former (and future) sister-in-law.


  • When Gunther tells Joey that a customer has been waiting for his coffee for ten minutes, he hands a mug to Joey. You can clearly see that the mug is empty.
  • When Joey is telling Monica and Chandler about Carl, during certain shots when Chandler's back is to the camera, his arms can be seen moving or crossed, yet when the camera is on him and Monica, his hands are still in his robe.
  • After Joey yells at Carl that they like pizza, the camera is facing Chandler's back and its obvious that he's laughing at what just happened and his hands are in his robe pockets, yet when the camera faces him and Monica a second later, he has a serious look on his face and his hands are already out of his pockets.
  • When Ross tries to scare Phoebe and Rachel when explaining "Unagi" in Central Perk, Phoebe's arms change positions in different camera angles from crossed to one hand on her chin. The editors may have used a cut from the blooper for that scene.
  • When Phoebe and Rachel see Ross mistakenly attack the two women, Phoebe says we should help him rather than help them, i.e. the two women, as Rachel replies "I don't think they need any help".
  • When Carl opens the fridge to get a Soda, it is surprisingly under-stocked considering two people live in the apartment, and one of them is a professional chef. However, it's entirely possible that Monica and Chandler just need to go shopping soon or it could be that Joey's still giving out their food in Central Perk, as he did in The One Where Chandler Can't Cry.
  • When Chandler and Monica are arguing in their final scene about the mixed tape, their bedroom door goes from open to closed and open again between shots, even though neither of them moved.
  • In Real life, Ross could get arrested for attacking the two unknown women since there were other people who witnessed it and could testify against him.



[Ross has just scared Phoebe and Rachel]
Ross: At what point of those girlish screams would you have begun to "KICK MY ASS?!"
Rachel: Alright, so we weren't "PREPARED!"

[after Ross has bragged about having "unagi"]
Phoebe and Rachel: [sneaking up from behind Ross, shouting] Danger!
[Ross screams like a little girl.]
Rachel: Ah, salmon skin roll.

[Rachel and Phoebe have Ross pinned to the ground after he tried to scare them back]
Rachel: Say it.
Phoebe: Say we are unagi.
Ross: It's not something you are, it's something you have!

Phoebe: Now, we can kick anybody's ass!
Rachel: Yeah!
Ross: After one class? I don't think so.
Rachel: What? You want to see me self-defend myself? Go over there and pretend you're a sexual predator! Go on! I dare ya!
Ross: Well, of course you can defend yourself from an attack you know is coming, that's not enough. Look, I studied karate for a long time, and there's a concept you should really be familiar with. It's what the Japanese call unagi.
Rachel: Isn't that a kind of sushi?
Ross: No, it's a concept.
Phoebe: Yeah, it is! It is! It's freshwater eel.
Ross: All right, maybe it means that too.
Rachel: Ooh! I would kill for a salmon skin roll right now.
Ross: Y'know what? Fine! Get attacked! I don't even care!

Phoebe: [after Chandler mentions he and Monica will make anniversary gifts for each other] So what did you make Chandler?
Chandler: Oh, I made a 'flablarghaargh'...
Phoebe: What is that?
Chandler: Nothing!

Ross: Chandler. I sensed it was you.
Chandler: What?
Ross: 'Unagi'. I'm always aware.
Chandler: Are you aware that unagi is an eel?

Ross: About that last move where the woman tripped you and then pinned you to the floor, what would you do next?
The Instructor: Well, she would try to take her keys and then jam...
Ross: No. No, what would you do next?
The Instructor: Who, me the Attacker?
Ross: Yes, That's right.
The Instructor: Why?
Ross: I tried attacking two women - did not work.
The Instructor: What?
Ross: It's OK. I mean, they're my friends. In fact I was married to one of them.
The Instructor: Let me get this straight. You attacked your ex-wife?
Ross: Oh, no, no, no. I "TRIED".

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 That Could Have Been, Part 2"
Series Six Episodes Followed by
"The One Where Ross Dates A Student"
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