Season 10 Episode 13

The One Where Joey Speaks French

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 19, 2004 on NBC

Episode Recap

Phoebe has returned from her honeymoon in a fantastic mood. Everyone is glad to see her, especially Joey, who needs her help. He is auditioning for a part in a play and for a part of it he has to speak French, which Phoebe is fluent in. She agrees to help, after demonstrating her skills of the language, much to Rachel's delight.

Erica, the woman carrying Monica and Chandler's child, is planning to stay at their apartment for a few days so she can get to know them, plus she's never been to New York before so she wants to see all the tourist spots. Monica is just finishing off making cookies for Erica when Ross storms in, complaining that Rachel should have met him half an hour ago with Emma. A few seconds later, Rachel arrives, and is hassled by Ross at the fact she's late before she can reveal her news: her father had a heart attack. Ross decides to come with Rachel to the hospital and treats her to one of Monica's cookies to cheer her up, despite the fact they were all supposed to be for Erica.

Phoebe takes a look at Joey's script and begins to tutor him, but every time she says a phrase and asks Joey to repeat it, he comes out with a load of nonsense, for example:

Phoebe: Repeat after me: Je m'appelle Claude. Joey: Je de coop plow. Phoebe: Let's try it again: Je m'appelle Claude. Joey: Je de plee bloom. Just before Phoebe can lose her temper, Monica and Chandler show up with Erica. After being introduced to them, Erica announces she wants to see everything there is to see in New York. Joey suggests the Statue of Liberty, and Chandler masks his hatred of tourist attractions by showing his appreciation of the thought.

Rachel and Ross arrive at the hospital and are let into Rachel's father's ward. Rachel leaves to briefly talk with her father's doctor, leaving a jittery Ross with Mr. Green. He turns on the TV and puts his feet up on the bed, at the same time tugging at Green's catheter, which in turn wakes him up. Green, clearly not happy to see Ross, starts making him a little uncomfortable. Ross tries to buzz Rachel back into the ward, now particularly frightened.

Phoebe's attempts to teach Joey French are rapidly failing, although he nearly manages it when he pronounces each word one syllable at a time, but messes up when he strings it all together:

Phoebe: Je. Joey:Je. Phoebe: M'a. Joey:M'a. Phoebe:Pelle. Joey:Pelle. Phoebe:(delighted) Je M'Appele! Joey: Pape flu!

This pushes Phoebe over the edge and she leaves before she puts Joey's head through a wall, ignoring Joey's fake-French cries of terror that his audition is tomorrow.

Rachel and Ross stay at Mr. Green's house for the night, but Rachel wants to go back to the hospital so her father doesn't wake up alone. Ross convinces her to stay and they both decide to turn in, but Rachel has other ideas in mind. She tries to start making out with Ross, but Ross says it would be a bad idea, what with Rachel feeling upset about her dad and Ross feeling he would be taking advantage of her, but Rachel proclaims she is giving him the advantage. Ross, however, manages to back off, whispering to himself in the hall that, "I haven't had sex in four months, I should get a medal for that!"

Monica and Erica return to the Bing residence after their sightseeing trip, where Monica apologizes for Chandler's behavior. Chandler himself walks in, wearing a foil Statue of Liberty hat and an "I Love NY" shirt. He goes on about how he's been to all those places but has never really seen them before. Erica breaks up the conversation by telling the couple about the father of her baby. At first it all seems in order; the guy was the captain of the school football team, cute, got a scholarship and went to college. But then Erica remembers another person she dated, a man imprisoned for killing his father with a shovel. That night in bed, Monica and Chandler discuss the possibilities of who the father is. Chandler refuses to raise a child with "Shovelly-Joes" genes and demands Erica take a test to discover the true father of the baby.

Joey has now resorted to teaching himself French using a vocabulary tape. Phoebe, however, returns to the apartment, apologizes for losing her temper and announces that she's willing to start tutoring him again. Joey replies that he doesn't need her help but, in reality, he's still spouting nonsense. Phoebe loses it again, but Joey remains confident.

Back at the hospital, Rachel, mad at Ross for what happened the previous night, advises him in future to oblige when someone asks him for some ill-advised "sympathy sex". Ross declares he was doing the right thing, that he was showing respect for Rachel and was looking out for her. Rachel retorts that she's a big girl now and doesn't need someone looking out for her, causing Ross to decide in a rather loud voice that from now on, sex is off the table. This heated conversation attracts the attention of Mr. Green, but Ross manages to shake him off.

When Erica and Monica return from having lunch, Erica asks if Chandler could name the baby after her father, Jiminy Billy Bob. Chandler agrees but it turns out she was joking. When she leaves to finish packing, Monica reveals that she's found out who the father is, and it's not "Shovelly Joe", much to Chandler's relief. Meanwhile, Phoebe visits Joey at his audition for the French play, where, predictably, Joey starts talking a load of rubbish he claims is French. The casting director is just about to chuck him out when Phoebe comes to the rescue by posing as a French woman who was passing by and heard Joey speaking the regional dialect of her town. The caster isn't convinced, so Phoebe tells him, in real French, that Joey is her little brother, who is slightly retarded, and asks the man to humor him. Sure enough, the caster tells Joey he spoke some good French but he's going to pick someone else for the part.

At Rachel's apartment, Ross puts Emma down for the night and is just about to leave when Rachel thanks him for coming out to see her father and also admits that's it's probably a good idea not to have sex again. The two then recount some of the memorable times when they had sex, finishing with Rachel claiming it's all a thing of the past now, although it seems kind of a waste, since they have such a great connection. After a pause, Rachel says that for them, it's never off the table, and wanders off to her room. After another pause, Ross says, "Damnit, it's never off the table."

The episode ends with Phoebe helping Joey cross the things he's not truly skilled at off his resumé. When they reach "can drink a gallon of milk in ten seconds" though, Joey claims he can do it. He pulls a bottle of milk out of the fridge and Phoebe times him. Sure enough, he drinks it all up fairly quickly. (Although Phoebe says he managed to do it, in reality, he drank the whole bottle in around thirty seconds, and even then, half of it went down his shirt).

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