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"The One Without The Ski Trip" is the seventeenth episode of the third season of Friends, which aired on March 6, 1997.


It's a week after Ross and Rachel's break-up and they can't even stand being in the same room as each other, each blaming the other for their separation while their friends are caught in the middle as they try to keep them apart as much as possible. Chandler finds the break-up of the two friends particularly stressful as it reminds him of his parents' divorce and he starts to smoke again, to try to relieve his stress.

When Ross asks the guys to hang out with him, they have to dismiss the idea of attending a fashion show with Rachel. To get back at him, she invites them over to her sister's cabin for a ski trip, which the guys agree to instead of a LaserDisc weekend marathon playing darts with Ross. The guys leave for the cabin but they have to pull in so that Chandler can go to a restroom. Rachel, however, closes the door of the cab, which has the keys locked inside. After some arguing, Joey gets Phoebe to give him her bra, pulls out the wire and picks the car lock. Everyone is about to leave, but the car runs out of gas.

Saddened and alone, Ross seeks solace in Carol and Susan at their apartment. Only Carol's there, so he opens up his heart to her about him and Rachel breaking up, even though Carol has clearly set up a special romantic dinner to celebrate the first time she slept with Susan. Also, Ross tells her an edited version of the story which neglects to mention that he cheated on Rachel, instead casting her as the guilty party for cheating on him with Mark. Meanwhile, Monica distracts Rachel and Phoebe calls Ross for help. Carol intercepts the call just as Ross is mocking Phoebe and sends him off with her car so that he can help his friends, because "we both know you're gonna do it, cause you're not a jerk!". However, when Carol mentions the story that Ross told her, Phoebe sets her straight over the phone and Carol is, of course, furious. She tries to mock Ross by telling him, "you slept with another woman", to which Ross replies: "Oh, you're, you're... one to talk".

Joey and Chandler's search for help does not go well, and the guys have to wait for Ross. In the hope of finding the group, Joey arranges some twigs to read PLEH, which is HELP spelled backwards "so that the helicopters can read it from the air". Eventually, Ross finds the guys and fills their tank. Rachel leaves without a sign of gratitude, sparking up the fight again and dragging the others into it. Phoebe interrupts them and tells Ross and Rachel they need to find a way to be together without arguing, or else they can forget about everyone hanging out together. Joey agrees and adds they also need to stop putting everyone else in the middle of it. Ross and Rachel promise to try and do so, and Ross lets the guys go on the trip. As he's about to turn around, his car battery falls flat.

Ross manages to get back to Carol in the middle of the night, having bought a new car battery, but Carol, who's not exactly sleeping, closes the door in Ross' face.

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

Jane Sibbett - Carol Willick


Directed By:
Sam Simon

Written By:
Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott Silveri


Joey (to Chandler who is reading the paper): Can I see the comics?
Chandler: This is the New York Times.
Joey: Okay, may I see the comics?


  • This is the first time Chandler has smoked since "The One With The Thumb" (S1E3). At the time Phoebe gave him $7000 to never smoke again. It is not mentioned if he had to return the money.
  • This is the only appearance of Monica in Phoebe's cab.
  • This is the second time Phoebe tries to encourage Ross and Rachel to work things out in their troubled relationship, the first being when she reassures Ross that he and Rachel will get together in "The One With The Prom Video". Over the course of the remainder of the series she becomes, along with Joey, their closest friends culminating in her driving Ross to the airport to catch Rachel in "The Last One, Part 2".
  • This is the second episode that has no scenes inside Monica's Apartment. The first one was "The One With The Birth" (S1E23).
  • This is the first time Ross is portrayed as cheap.
  • This episode reveals that Chandler started using humor as a defense mechanism as a result of his parents getting divorced.
  • The dressing gown that Carol is wearing at the end of the episode is the same one that Monica wore in "The One With The Prom Video" (S2E14). Rachel also wore it in "The Pilot" (S1E1).
  • This is one of the few episodes that doesn't start with "The One With..." or "The One Where..."
  • Chandler mentions Shelley Winters, an American actress who starred in many films besides The Poseidon Adventure mentioned here.
  • For unknown reasons this is one of the few episodes to not air on Nick @ Nite. Another example is "The One With The Stoned Guy".
  • Various websites listing celebrity statistics agree that Jennifer Aniston has the largest bra size of the 3 Friends main actresses.


  • When Phoebe is able to get back into the cab after the keys were locked in, she starts up the car, but this part is obviously sped up. Phoebe says "okay" which could have been a voice over, for her mouth is not moving during this part of the scene.
  • Near the end of the rest stop scene, a camera man is visible on the left side of screen after Rachel says "Thank you."
  • The title of the episode is "The One Without the Ski Trip" however after Ross brings them gas the friends do continue to their destination for the ski trip. Possibly it refers to the fact that Ross is the "one" who misses out on the ski trip.
  • In the coffeehouse, when Monica tells Joey "It never takes you more than a shower to get over a relationship," the camera looks at Joey then moves to Chandler who starts saying something but the shot changes and Chandler is not heard.
  • When Ross arrives at the rest stop, Rachel audibly voices her disgust at his presence. However, it's clear that her mouth doesn't move at all in order to make that noise.


External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With The Morning After"
Series Three Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Hypnosis Tape"