Season 10 Episode 13

The One Where Joey Speaks French

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 19, 2004 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
278 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Phoebe tries to teach Joey to speak French for an audition. Surrogate mom Erica is visiting town and tells the Bings that the baby's father may be a shovel killer. Ross and Rachel head out to Long Island after her dad has a heart attack. After Ross rejects an upset Rachel's advances, the two decide never to have sex again, although Rachel suggests it still might happen.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • The One They Should Have Apologized For

    Watching this episode, my only thought was 'End this show. End it

    It has Rachel begging Ross for sex while her father is recovering from a heart-attack (?), Chandler and Monica investigating who got Erica pregnant, and Phoebe trying desperately to learn Joey French.

    While the Chandler/Monica-storyline is not all that bad, I am growing very tired of the Ross/Rachel-relationship. This time it doesn't even make sense. Rachel, worried about her father in the hospital, tries desperately to have sex with Ross huh? What kind of response is that?

    But this pales in comparison to the Joey/Phoebe-storyline. Phoebe, suddenly fluent in French, must teach Joey this language to get him through an audition that requires French skills. It is absolutely the most embarrassing scene I have ever seen on Friends. Incapable of repeating even a very simple sentence, but convinced he's great, Joey lets out complete gibberish. So embarrassing. It is completely unrealistic that any functioning human capable of speech would be that bad at repeating sounds. Why must this character be made so frustratingly brain-dead? This ugly parody of the French language is downright insulting.

    Let me quote Phoebe in her frustration: "'I have to leave before I put your head through a wall". I felt I had to turn the TV off before I put my own head through the wall with this episode!moreless
  • I don't even understand how this 'joke' got through the writing procedure. "Yeah, uh, wouldn't it be funny if Phoebe tries to teach Joey French but all he like does is, speak gibberish?"moreless

    There are a few episodes in Friends that were suposed to be funny, they just weren't executed well. Joey speaking French was on a completely different level. I don't even understand how this 'joke' got through the writing procedure. "Yeah, uh, wouldn't it be funny if Phoebe tries to teach Joey French but all he like does is, speak gibberish?"

    And that same problem makes this episode silly, weird and just plain insulting. Even if Joey speaking gibberish was funny, what is the point? Joey is the dumb one, we get that. What bothers me is that he stupidty differs from episode to episode. Sometimes he's just a little dim, the next he's just a complete retard And yes, Joey was a complete retard in this episode.

    I wasn't laughing at this episode at all, I did however pity him.

    What makes it worse for me is how he doesn't even realize he's doing it. One failed audition later just when Phoebe gets a perfect change to get her revenge she decides to humor Joey?

    Their last scene together (drinking a galon of milk) was slightly better but once again, when did Joey go from being a bit slow to a complete retard Seeing him covered in milk grinning just made me feel sorry for the guy, like he needed serious medical attention.

    The Ross and Rachel scenes were better although once again I found myself screaming at the TV. It seems the producers always, no matter what the argument is, try to make Rachel seem like the poor innocent victim. Ross once again showed how much Rachel means to him by not taking advantage of her in her time of despair and not only does she decide to give him the cold shoulder the next day she tries to justify why it is ok to sleep with someone just because they feel they need it. Does that mean she can just call Ross for a booty call whenever she wants?

    The Chandler and Monica scenes were good, not amazing but I don't think I was in the mood to actually laugh after all those akward scenes.moreless
  • Just plain insulting.

    I find it quite insulting to my intelligence that I'm expected to believe the main story of this episode. Suspension of disbelief is very important when watching anything on TV, and Joey trying to learn French and talking gibberish seems more symptomatic of a serious brain injury than Joey being a bit thick. There's no structure at all to what he thinks is French, it's obvious he's making it up as he goes along, so how can we possibly believe that he genuinely thinks he's speaking French?

    The sub-plots are reasonably amusing if not exactly hilarious, but the ludicrous and unbelievable Joey story just ruins the whole thing.moreless
  • Shovely Joeeeee

    THis episde is a great peisde of Friends because the 3 plots are funny, first Dr. Green has a heart attack and Rachel and ross go to Long Isalnd tocheack on him and most fo thwe best lines come form Ross saying: Sex is off the table forever!!! and Dr. Green pops up and hear it. Fun. Then Shovely Joe, which may be Erika's baby's dad. But turned out Erika didn't pay atytention in sex class and didn't have acrtual intercouse, with leads to Chandler saying in a ver funny way: Shovely Joeeeeeeeee. ANd finally the best part was Phoebe trying to teach Joey french fro an audition, and hesucks at itand says nonsense like blableblumaflepu. WAnd when PHebe comes tosave Joeyand tells the drector he is retareded, it was very fun. Great season 10 episde.moreless
  • This one is probably's "Friends" at its worse.

    Season 10 is not the best season of "Friends". In fact, it may easily be the worst season. Either way, there's no doubt that this episode is the worst episode - and not just on "Friends". Joey's storyline was silly and boring. So the guy doesn't speak french. We get that. Having Phoebe trying to teach him to speak french and have him repeat after her with anything but french is the dumbest plot. My newborn nephew could come up with something more clever then that. Phoebe and Joey, two that could easily be the funniest of the Friends are the worst in this episode. The story with Rachel and Ross... Well, it has a nice idea behind it, but it's done badly! Rachel's dad was in the episode, but other then one or two jokes at Ross' expense, he did nothing. Very dissapointing, since this man actually brings alot of fun to the show. In addition, the way they dealt with Rachel coming on to Ross was badly written and played. The only good thing about the all thing was her reaction to Ross the next morning (telling him she felt humiliated and unsatisfied), but that's the only good thing in this story - and in the episode. I won't even talk about Monica and Chandler who are my favourite couple and most their stories I really do love. They dissapointed me so much in this episode, I don't even want to remember it. And one final remark: Joey drinking a gallon of milk in 10 seconds was probably a good ending to a terrible episode. And no - it wasn't a funny scene, nor was it sophisticated. It was so bad - that it reflected the entire bad episode of the best comedy on television.moreless
Hira Ambrosino

Hira Ambrosino

The Nurse

Guest Star

Tim Edward Rhoze

Tim Edward Rhoze

The Director

Guest Star

Alex Craig Mann

Alex Craig Mann

The Casting Assistant

Guest Star

Anna Faris

Anna Faris


Recurring Role

Ron Leibman

Ron Leibman

Dr. Leonard Green

Recurring Role

Cali Sheldon

Cali Sheldon

Emma Geller-Green [uncredited]

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Continuity: We discover in this episode that Rachel's father is still living in her childhood home. In Season 2's "The One with the Two Parties", however, when Rachel is sharing her concerns about her parents divorce to Chandler in the hall. she says, "She gets the house, he's in some condo my sister's going to decorate with wicker...".

    • Trivia: Monica has determined after talking with Erica that "Shovely Joe" could not have been the father of their baby. She explains to Chandler, "..the thing she did with that prison guy? It'd be pretty hard to make a baby that way". This is the third time that joke has been used in the series. The first time was in "The One with Joey's Bag": Phoebe's grandmother has died and as she's telling the others, Monica rushes into Central Perk and announces that a couple is doing it in a car across the street. Phoebe says, "One life ends, another begins", to which Monica responds, "Not the way they're doing it". It was then used in "The One with the Birthing Video". Rachel is watching what she believes to be the birthing video when it is in fact a porno tape. She wonders if maybe it's showing how the woman got pregnant in the first place, but after watching for a bit says, "No, no... can't get pregnant that way".

    • Goof: Rachel says that Ross uses her full name when saying "Rachel Green's room," however it was established in "The One With Mrs. Bing" that Rachel's full name is Rachel Karen Green.

    • Magna Doodle: A drawing of an old-fashioned deep sea diver trying to retrieve a sunken treasure that is being defended by a giant squid

    • Continuity: When Joey first asked Phoebe to help him speak French, Rachel said she didn't know Phoebe spoke French. But in "The One with the Rumor," Phoebe told Rachel that she and some other people would meet behind a dumpster to learn French.

    • Goof: When Chandler and Monica are in bed they are not lying on their usual sides of the bed.

    • Goof: Joey says he can drink a gallon of milk in 10 seconds. When he tries, it takes him 28 seconds and he spills a lot down his front, yet Phoebe says, "You did it!" It's possible that Phoebe did this on purpose to humor him again.

    • Trivia: The posters that hang in Rachel's bedroom include Into The Gap by the Thompson Twins, Arena by Duran Duran, and one by Shaun Cassidy.

    • Trivia: Here are the translations for Phoebe's lines in French.
      Phoebe: (To Rachel) Oui, bien sur je parle Français! Qu'est-ce que tu penses alors?
      Translation: Yes, of course I speak French! What did you think?
      Phoebe: (To Joey) Tout le plaisir est pour moi, mon ami.
      Translation: The pleasure is mine, my friend.
      Phoebe: Ecoutez, je vais vous dire la vérité. C'est mon petit frère. Il est un peu retard alors si vous pouviez jouer le jeu avec lui. Merci, au revoir.
      Translation: Listen, I'll tell you the truth. He's my little brother. He's a little retarded. Would you please just humor him? Thank you, goodbye.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Joey: I'm glad you're back, I really need your help.
      Phoebe: Oh, why? What's up?
      Joey: I have an audition for this play and for some of it I have to speak French... which, according to my résumé, I'm fluent in.
      Ross: Joey, you shouldn't lie on your résumé.
      Monica: Yeah, you really shouldn't. (turning to Ross) By the way, how was that year-long dig in Cairo?

    • Ross: (to Rachel, upset) Oh, hi, hi. Thanks for showing up thirty minutes late.
      Rachel: Ross...
      Ross: No, no, no, I'm sure you have a great excuse. What was it, a hair appointment? A mani-pedi? Was there a sale at Barney's?
      Rachel: My father had a heart attack! (starts crying) ...while I was at Barney's.

    • Monica: Phoebe, this is Erica... and this is the baby! (points at Erica's stomach) Joey, Erica, baby! Everyone, Erica, baby!
      Chandler: Monica... calm... self!

    • Joey: (to Erica) Welcome to New York City, or should I say ke-de-floef New York City.
      Chandler: Why would you say that?

    • Ross: (to the nurse) I'm Dr. Ross Geller.
      Rachel: Ross, please, this is a hospital, okay? That actually means something here. (turning to the nurse) So can we please go in?
      Nurse: Absolutely.
      Ross: Rach', I think I'm gonna wait out here, because my throat is gettin' a little scratchy... I don't wanna infect him.
      Rachel: Ross, please, don't be so scared of him!
      Ross: I am not scared of him, I'm really sick!
      Nurse: He's under sedation, so he's pretty much out.
      Ross: I'm feeling better.

    • Nurse: Miss Green? Your father's doctor is on the phone if you'd like to speak to him.
      Rachel: Oh great. (to Ross) Uh, are you going to be okay?
      Ross: He's unconscious. I think we'll be just fine.

    • (Ross starts to watch a movie on television and Dr. Green wakes up)
      : Did the TV wake you?
      Dr. Green: No, when you put your feet up in my bed, you tugged on my catheter.
      Ross: (being cute) Ouchy.
      Dr. Green: What are you doing here, Geller?
      Ross: Well, I came with Rachel, who should be back any second. So what's new?
      Dr. Green: Oh, I had a little heart attack
      Ross: Right... Is it painful?
      Dr. Green: What, the heart attack or sitting here talking to you?

    • Dr. Green: So what's new with you, Geller? Knocked up any more of my daughters lately?
      Ross: Nope, just the one... (calling out desperately) Rachel!!

    • Phoebe: (to Joey who has been impossible to teach French to) I have to go before I put your head through a wall!
      Joey: No, don't go! I need you! (calling after her as she leaves) My audition is tomorrow! Ja blu bla! Me la pee! Oom Bla... Poo.

    • Ross: (about having sex) I'm sorry, I just don't think this is a good idea.
      Rachel: Well, we won't know that until we do it, will we?
      Ross: No, uh, look. You are upset about your father and you're feeling vulnerable and I, I just don't feel it would be right. I'd feel like I'd be, you know... taking advantage of you.
      Rachel: Taking advantage? I'm giving you the advantage! Enjoy!
      Ross: Look, I'm sure it would be great, but I, I think one of us has to be thinking clearly. So, I'm gonna go.
      Rachel: (upset) Wow, okay.
      Ross: I'll see you in the morning. (after leaving Rachel's room) I haven't had sex in four months. I should get a medal for that!

    • Monica: (about who is the father of Erica's baby) Are you awake?
      Chandler: Of course I'm awake. Assume from now on that I'm always awake!
      Monica: All right, we don't know that it's him. I mean, it could be the football guy.
      Chandler: Honey, it's us. Of course it's the shovel-killer.

    • Ross: You sure you're alright?
      Rachel: Yep.
      Ross: (unconvinced) Okay. Well, um... I'm gonna go grab us some breakfast.
      Rachel: F... Y... I...
      Ross: There it is!
      Rachel: In the future, when a girl asks for some ill-advised sympathy sex? ...Just do it.
      Ross: Wait. You're mad at me about last night? I was just trying to do the right thing.
      Rachel: Really? Well, it seems to me if you had done the right thing, I would not have woken up today feeling stupid and embarrassed, I would have woken up comforted and satisfied.
      Ross: (reflecting on his love-making prowess) Well...
      Rachel: Oh, stop that!
      Ross: I can't believe this, what... I was just being a good guy. I treated you with respect and understanding.
      Rachel: Oh, that is so hot!
      Ross: Hey, I was looking out for you!
      Rachel: Oh really? Well Ross, you know what? I am a big girl. I don't need someone telling me what is best for me.
      Ross: (laughing at the irony) I gotta say, I've not had sex a lot of times before? ...This is the worst... ever!
      Rachel: Oh, really? Really? Well, it wasn't very good for me either.
      Ross: Oh, okay. Hey, hey, you know what? To avoid this little thing in the future let's just say you and me... never having sex again!
      Rachel: What?
      Ross: That's right, sex is off the table!

    • Erica: (to Chandler) It would really mean a lot to me, if the baby was a boy, if you'd name him after my father... Jiminy Billy Bob.
      Chandler: (in a state of shock) Oh... really?
      Erica: (laughing) No!! (to Monica) You were right... that was fun!

    • Monica: Well, it turns out that Erica didn't pay much attention in sex ed class, because the thing she did with that prison guy?'d be pretty hard to make a baby that way.
      Chandler: Oh, God! What was it? The thing that we hardly ever do or the thing we never do?
      Monica: The thing we never do.
      Chandler: Shovely Joe!

    • Rachel: (about sex with Ross) Hey, um, do you remember that one really great time...?
      Ross: Oh, yeah!
      Rachel: You know it was you're, um... birthday...
      Ross(as Rachel says "birthday") Valentine's day... 
      Both: (remembering what the other mentioned) Oh, yeah!
      Rachel: Well, I guess that's all in the past, now.
      Ross: Mm-hm.
      Rachel: Not even one more time?
      Ross: Not even once.
      Rachel: No matter how much we want it.
      Ross: Even if we want it really bad.
      Rachel: That's what we decided...
      Ross: Huh, right!
      Rachel: It's kinda hard though!
      Ross: Yeah.
      Rachel: Y'know, when two people have a connection, you know, that... just seems like such a... waste.
      Ross: (looking into Rachel's eyes) I hate waste.
      Rachel: Ross.
      Ross: Yah?
      Rachel: Just so you know. With us... it's never off the table.
      Ross: (after Rachel has left) Damn it, it's never off the table!

    • Phoebe: (reviewing Joey's résumé) Okay, can you really tap-dance?
      Joey: No.
      Phoebe: It's off the résumé. Archery?
      Joey: No.
      Phoebe: Horseback riding?
      Joey: Would fall off a lot.

  • NOTES (10)

    • In the U.S. airing of this episode on the Nickelodeon channel, the line where Phoebe tells the plays's director that Joey is retarded is cut out, yet the character reactions and audience laughter to the line remains. Viewers are supposed to believe that the director humors Joey simply because he is Phoebe's brother.

    • International Episode Title:
      France: Celui qui baragouinait (The One Who Was Jabbering)

    • This is the final appearance of Ron Leibman as Dr. Leonard Green. Dr. Green was in 4 episodes of Friends.

    • Ron Leibman (Dr. Green) received the "and" credit.

    • The Long Island hospital exterior shown is actually the south face of the Robarts Library at the University of Toronto in Canada.

    • In the Australian Channel Ten network's broadcast of this episode, the subtitles for Phoebe's conversation in French with the director use "retarted" rather than "retarded."

    • Courteney Cox-Arquette was pregnant during the filming of this episode. It is visible, especially in her face, that she gained weight from her real-life pregnancy. She also wears larger clothes to try to disguise this. On June 13th, 2004 Courteney and her husband David Arquette welcomed the birth of their daughter Coco Riley Arquette.

    • This episode runs 25:03 on DVD (a typical sitcom runs about 22:00).

    • This is the last episode with Joey's name in the title.

    • Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc, as well as Matthew Perry, speak French fluently.