Friends S5:E14 – Greeting, love birds. Hope you’re having an excellent Monday before Valentine’s Day. I also hope everyone has their plans for Thursday squared away. Here’s a friendly VD tip from Uncle Kenny: there’s nothing worse than waiting until Thursday at 5:00pm as you get off work to run to the store and try to find some flowers and candy for your significant other. Trust me. I’m drawing from my personal experience when I tell you that if you wait until the last minute, all of the good candy and ripe flowers are gone. And there ain’t no to salvage it by pulling a fast one. Take it from me, your sweetie is going to know when you show up with lame chocolates and a dozen half-dead roses. Do your Valentine’s shopping today, tomorrow, or Wednesday at the latest. Agreed? Great. Since I’ve now convinced you to plan ahead, may I suggest a fantastic gift idea? Hugsy – The Bedtime Penguin Pal would make a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift for your honey bunch. As we’ve seen in today’s episode, if your significant other is anything like Joey, you will be giving the gift of comfort, security, cuddliness, and fantastic napping. And if you were wondering, no, I don’t sell Hugsys. Hugsys sell themselves.
Okay, now that we’ve got Valentine’s Day figured out, let’s move right into dissecting today’s episode. Actually, our conversation about Valentine’s Day or “The Love Holiday” (if you will) is a fantastic segue into the hijinks that are carried out in today’s episode between Phoebe and Chandler. After Phoebe finds out about Chandler and Monica’s relationship and confirms with Rachel that they are in fact an item, she concocts a plan to mess with them using the fact that Chandler and Monica don’t know that Phoebe and Rachel know to their advantage. Phoebe’s plan is two-fold: 1) since Monica and Chandler use “doing laundry” as an excuse to hook up, Rachel will take advantage of her status as Monica’s roommate to ask Monica and Chandler to do her laundry the next time they use that as an excuse to hook up 2) Phoebe will pretend to have a crush on Chandler, start flirting with him, and try to seduce him. The plan works perfectly at first but true to form, Monica sniffs out the fact that Phoebe and Rachel know about her and Chandler. Now with the advantage, she plans the counter attack of having Chandler pretend to be open to Phoebe’s advances. After all, as Monica puts it, “they don’t know that we know that they know.”
Hilarity ensues as Phoebe and Chandler play a game of chicken to see who will break first as they hurl themselves closer and closer to a sexual relationship. After Chandler invites Phoebe over to his apartment to “feel is biceps and more,” things escalate quickly from wine guzzling, to seductive dancing, to Phoebe showing Chandler her bra, to Phoebe and Chandler’s first kiss. And what a kiss it was. An all-timer. The perfect romantic image for me to leave you with this week. Whether it’s 1999 or 2019, PHOEBLER is about as hot a couple as you could ever hope to find. Happy Valentine’s Day, Phoebos and Chandies. Smooch responsibility. Oh, and in case you were wondering, in the game of chicken for all of the Phoebe and Rachel v. Chandler and Monica bragging rights, Chandler breaks declaring his love for Monica. What a fantastic victory for Phoebe and Rachel. Adams out.
Recap in the Key of Phoebe – This is the one where Phoebe finds out about Monica and Chandler and recruits Rachel to start messing with them, Rachel gives Monica and Chandler a bunch of laundry to do as part of the messing when they’re using laundry as an excuse to be alone and hook up, Monica realizes that Rachel and Phoebe know when (also as part of the messing) Phoebe starts hitting on Chandler, Chandler and Monica start messing back by pretending that Chandler is interested in Phoebe’s advances, Joey is caught in the middle of all the messing and desperately wants to get back to not knowing anything, Naked Ross bonds with Ugly Naked Guy in hopes of being chosen to sublet Ugly Naked Apartment, and the “They Don’t Know That We Know That They Know” game reaches its epic conclusion when Chandler forfeits as he’s kissing Phoebe and declares to everyone involved his love for Monica.
Gandalf Gaffes – None. Flawless episode!
Ugly Naked Guy Watch – While the gang is hanging out at Monica and Rachel’s, Phoebe notices that Ugly Naked Guy is putting his stuff in boxes. Needing a new place to start rebuilding from a life in shambles, Ross decides to try to get Ugly Naked Guy’s place. After looking into it, Ross discovers that Ugly Naked Guy is, in fact, subletting his own apartment. He also discovers there is stiff competition to win the apartment. In order to give himself an advantage, Ross sends over a basket of mini-muffins. Thinking that will do the trick, Ross is bummed to find out when he sees from Monica and Rachel’s apartment that Ugly Naked Guy has also been bribed with superior gifts including a pinball machine, a mountain bike, and other – larger baskets of mini-muffins. When Rachel helps him realize that his true advantage is the fact that he’s been spying on Ugly Naked Guy for five years and as a consequence, he can figure out something to bond with UNG over to regain his advantage. It saddens me to report that Ross uses his advantage to bond with Ugly Naked Guy and win the apartment by hanging out with UNG at his apartment as Ugly Naked Ross.
Chan Man Quip of the Week – [The Setup] Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Phoebe are at Monica and Rachel’s apartment. Ross has just left. Following his lead, Rachel says to Phoebe, “All right honey, we’d better go if we wanna catch that movie.” As Rachel and Phoebe are walking out, Monica says, “bye” and everyone else responds, “bye.” Phoebe walks by Chandler on her way out of the apartment and stops to give him a special farewell. She says seductively, “Bye Chandler!” She walks right up to him and whispers “I miss you already” in his ear. She then proceeds to pinch his butt. Chandler stands there speechless until after Rachel and Phoebe have left. He then turns to Monica, “Okay, did you see that?! With the inappropriate and the pinching?” Monica responds, “Actually, I did!” Chandler continues, “Okay, so now do you believe that she’s attracted to me?” Searching for other explanations, a lightbulb goes off in Monica’s head when she comes to the conclusion, “Ohhh, oh my God! Oh my God! She knows about us!” Skeptical at first, Chandler questions, “Are you serious?” Monica continues fleshing out her theory, saying, “Phoebe knows and she’s just trying to freak us out! That’s the only explanation for it!” Still not convinced and a little insulted that Monica can’t comprehend that Phoebe could be attracted to him, Chandler asks, “Okay but what about y’know my pinchable butt and my bulging biceps?” [The Knockout] Waking up to his self-loathing attitude towards his physical physique, Chandler pulls to pin on a forceful self-deprecating quip grenade, announcing, “She knows!!”
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