Season 3 Episode 13

The One Where Monica and Richard Are Just Friends

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 30, 1997 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
257 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Monica's willpower is tested when she runs into Richard at the video store. Joey agrees to read Little Women while Rachel agrees to read The Shining. And Phoebe's athletic date has a problem with short shorts.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Cool ep

    Monica runs into Richard. They first try to stay friends, but they sleep together. They decide to make it a "Friends with Benefits" thing, Monica cant stop wanting more. Rachel agrees to read "The Shining" while Joey reads "Little Women". Phoebe's boyfriend has a problem with his shorts...

    This episode was really great and funny episode of one of the best seasons of the show. This episode was great, with rlly good jokes and was great. Richard comes back, and he and Monica try to stay friends, which they cant! This makes the episode rlly funny. Also, the deal with Phoebe's boyfriend was rlly funny. This ep was rlly cool.moreless
  • Richard returns.

    I like how the writers didn't focus much on the Ross & Rachel drama in this episode, at least giving Ross & Rachel, some episodes to stay together. They brought back Richard! I don't think that was the brightest idea, since now Monica has to get over him again. But you see that Monica still loves Richard, only one thing still consistently getting in the way. Having a baby. Rachel & Joey having a fight over the books was hilarious! Probably the best plot. Phoebe's athletic new boyfriend showing "brain" was hilarious as well. "Don't look directly at it" - Ross "Like an eclipse!" - Chandler. A great episode.moreless
  • Quite an average episode

    I should agree with the rest about Monica - the writers should have not made another one with Richard - it was too hard to watch.

    Off course the best part of this episode is with Joey reading books - that comes as I remember only once again - with the encyclopedia. This part was surelly fun.

    Another allusion from the part with Phoebe: as she comes to the coffee house after playing basketball, she is wearing a funky shirt. This shirt was made specially after Lithuania basketball team won bronze medals in Olympics of Barcelona, 1992. The team had the best ever Lithuanian basketball player Arvydas Sabonis, also Sarunas Marciulionis, who both later played in the NBA and many other stars of those days.

    Lithuania then finished behind the first ever USA dream-team and also Croatia. This was the first of three-in-a-row bronze medals of Lithuania basketball team in respective Olympics of Atlanta'1996 and Sydney'2000.

    All the players of the team were wearing that shirt as they climbed the podium in Barcelona.moreless
  • This episode had a few good laughs, but I don't think that bringing Richard back, after Monica had so much trouble getting over him, is a good idea. The best part is Joey and Rachel's fight about the books they were reading.moreless

    The episode is actually quite good, but I don't see the point in bringing back Richard... I mean, Monica had such a hard time getting over him, and bringing him back was just not neccesary, but I guess they needed a story for Monica...

    Anyway, we get to see more jealousy on Ross's part, which will grow to something much more bigger in a few episodes.

    I really enjoyed the Rachel/Joey plot, it was really interesting seeing how they commented on the books they were reading, and at the same time, I was surprised by the fact that Joey likes reading books.

    Phoebe's story was also quite good, but it just wasn't so good to make the episode above average. But we all know that the writers can't keep on writing amazing episodes. I like this episode just as much as the other episodes.moreless
  • It's funny, but just not original enough.

    The One Where Monica and Richard and Just Friends contains a few big laughs, several medium laughs and a couple of small chuckles. They could have done much better. The whole Ross, Rachel and Mark jealousy thing got old in The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister and remains to be tedious and not funny nor sad. The Monica and Richard thing was dead a long time ago, and this resurrection of their romance is more like a zombie than a nice return. The bright spot of this episode is the battle of the books between Joey and Rachel. That kept this episode above a 6. I'm glad that they actually got the information right from the book, rather than retreating to the movie. All in all, a good episode that recycles too many elements from previous ones.moreless
Markus Flanagan

Markus Flanagan


Guest Star

Steven Harad

Steven Harad


Guest Star

Gina Hecht

Gina Hecht

Richard's Date

Guest Star

Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck

Dr. Richard Burke

Recurring Role

James Michael Tyler

James Michael Tyler


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Continuity: Ross's year of birth is inconsistent. In "The Pilot", (1994) Ross says he is 26, which would mean he was born in 1967. In this episode (1997) he says he is 29, however, next season in "The One Where They're Going to Party" Ross also says he is 29, implying he was born in 1968. Next season in "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS" Ross says he is about to get divorced again before he's thirty, implying he is still 29 and born in 1969. Also, in "The One with the Video Tape", Ross claims that he backpacked across Europe in 1983, then whispers to himself, "I was thirteen?", implying he was born in 1969 or 1970.

    • Goof: When Monica and Richard are squishing tomatoes and she starts dabbing his shirt with club soda, Monica's bedroom door goes from open to shut between two shots.

    • Goof: When Monica goes into her room to find Richard waiting for her, you can clearly see the set where the balcony is supposed to be.

    • Goof: In one scene, Rachel goes over to Joey's place to borrow some ice. She must have been really engrossed in the conversation, because the container she brought was still empty when she left. Joey said they might be out of ice. They must have been because Rachel refilled the ice tray and put it back in the freezer

    • Factual Error: The parts of The Shining that Joey talks about "in code" are from the movie version, not the book.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Ross: When do you think you're going to get off tonight?
      Rachel: Oh, I don't know honey. It's gonna be really late.
      Ross: Oh, come on... not again!
      Rachel: I know. I'm sorry. Look, I'll make a deal with you all right? Okay?
      Ross: Hm.
      Rachel: For every night that you're asleep before I get home from work...
      Ross: Yeah...?
      Rachel: I will wake you up in a way that's proved very popular in the past.
      Ross: Now, if you need to stay late, I want to be supportive of that.

    • Joey: Since when do you roller blade?
      Phoebe: Oh! Since tomorrow. I met this really cute guy in the park and he like, you know, jogs, and blades, and swims, and so, you know, we made a deal that's he's going to teach me all sorts of jock stuff.
      Ross: And what are you going to do for him?
      Phoebe: I'm going to let him.

    • Monica: (about Richard) We talked for a little while, and then, we went out for an innocent burger.
      Phoebe: Oh, there's no such thing as an innocent burger.

    • Rachel: (about Richard) Monica, what are you doing?
      Chandler: Well, she spent the last six months getting over him, and now she's celebrating that by going on a date with him.

    • Joey: Are you just getting home? It's late.
      Rachel: Yeah, I know. I had the best day, though. I got to sit in on a meeting with the reps from Calvin Klein, I told my boss I liked this new line of lingerie, she ordered a ton of it... How was your day?
      Joey: I discovered I'm able to count all of my teeth using just my tongue.

    • Chandler: (to Robert) Isn't it a little cold for you to be wearing shorts?
      Robert: Well, I'm from California...
      Chandler: Right, right. Sometimes you guys just burst into flame.

    • Richard: (while squishing tomatoes) Oh... This feels... very weird...
      Moncia: You touch people's eyeballs every day and this feels weird...?
      Richard: Well, sure, I touch them... but I spent years learning not to "squish" them.

    • Joey: Amy just burned Jo's manuscript. I don't see how he could ever forgive her!
      Ross: Uh, Jo's a girl, it's short for "Josephine".
      Joey: But, Jo's got a crush on Laurie. Oh... you mean it's like a girl-girl thing? 'Cause that's the one thing missing from The Shining!
      Chandler: No, actually, Laurie's a boy...
      Joey: No wonder Rachel had to read this so many times!

    • Monica: So, we can be friends who sleep together.
      Richard: Absolutely. This'll just be something we do--like racquetball.
      Monica: Sounds smart and healthy to me! Um, just out of curiosity, do you have any other racquetball buddies?
      Richard: Just your dad--although that's actually racquetball.

    • Joey: All blank and no blank makes blank a blank blank. Oh, and the end, when Jack almost kills them all with that blank but in the last second they get away!
      Rachel: Joey! I can't believe you just did that!
      Chandler: I can't believe she cracked your code.

    • Gunther: Hey buddy, this is a family place. Put the mouse back in the house.

    • Monica: You know what? What if we're friends who don't see other people?
      Richard: You mean like exclusive friends?
      Monica: Why not?! I mean this has been the most amazing week. Would it be so terrible? Even if we were friends who lived together. Or, maybe someday friends who stood up in front of their other friends, and vowed to be friends forever.
      Richard: Wow. You know we're back where we were. Honey, I would love to do all that, but nothing's changed.
      Monica: That's not true, you don't have a mustache.

    • (Joey comes into Rachel's apartment carrying the book, "Little Women")
      Joey: (almost in tears) Beth is really, really sick...
      Rachel: (sympathetically) Ohhh... (helps him sit down)
      Joey: Jo's there, but I don't think there's anything she can do...
      Rachel: (hugging him) Joey...?
      Joey: Yuh...
      Rachel: You wanna put the book in the freezer...?

  • NOTES (5)


    • The book Ross is reading in this episode is Race: How Blacks & Whites Think & Feel About the American Obsession by Studs Terkel.

    • Rachel: Well, um, I guess I read Little Women more than once, but I mean that's a classic. What's so great about The Shining?

      In this episode Rachel and Joey read each other's favorite books.
      Little Women is a novel by by American author Louisa May Alcott about four sisters growing up during the American Civil War. The novel has been adapted into numerous films including the 1933 film Little Women starring Katherine Hepburn and the 1994 film Little Women starring Winona Ryder.

      The Shining is a novel by the famous American horror author Stephen King about a writer who gets a job in a haunted hotel. The novel was adapted into the 1980 film The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson.

    • Ross: I think this is an unsolvable problem.
      Chandler: It's a curiette mariah. The unsolvable problem they gave to Captain Kirk as part of his training to be a Star Fleet commander.
      Ross: (correcting him) Kobayashi Maru.
      The Kobayashi Maru was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

    • Ross: Joey's asking if you've just ruined the first book he's ever loved that didn't star Jack Nicholson.

      Jack Nicholson is an iconic, three-time Academy Award and seven time Golden Globe winning American actor known for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters.

    • Richard: He'll go up to the counter with Citizen Kane, Vertigo, and Clockwork Orgy.
      Citizen Kane is a 1941 mystery/drama film.
      Vertigo is a 1958 psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
      "Clockwork Orgy" is a word play on Clockwork Orange, 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick adapted from the fiction novel by Anthony Burgess.