Season 5 Episode 4

The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 15, 1998 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
252 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Joey lands a job with a PBS telethon, which ignites an old hatred Phoebe has towards the network. Meanwhile, Monica tries to convince Rachel that she's dating someone from work to hide her relationship with Chandler.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Ross has to choose.

    Finally Emily reprises her role, and is shown in one scene. I would dump that ho in a second if she asked me to stop speaking to one of my best friends. I love how Ross resorts to an eight ball to solve his problems, and Phoebe believes in the eight ball. I also like the part when Rachel walks in on Monica "getting ready" for Chandler. The best part would have to be when Joey got in a fight with the telathon guy. And Phoebe tries to find a good selfless deed but cannot find a single thing until the end but then was proved wrong soon after that. I Love this episode!!! Great cliffhanger!moreless
  • Pretty funny, but average for a Friends episode.

    This episode is very funny and though its not classic or anything, it is certainly worth the watch. Honestly, I just watched the episode not long ago and can’t remember that many details about it for some reason. The whole bit about Joey thinking he is going to host the telethon is really funny. He even gets into a fight with another phone operator which made me laugh. Also, in this episode Chandler and Monica continue to think of ways to cover up their relationship. Chandler says the reason he brought champagne to Monica’s house is that his office “finally got wrinkle-free fax paper”. Overall, an average episode with some very funny parts.moreless
  • a good episode

    Joey lands a job with a PBS telethon but is in the back and hardly has any air time., which ignites an old hatred Phoebe has towards the network because sesame street never replied 2 her letters after her mom died. and also joey says there is no selfless good deed and pheobe intends to prove him wrong and in the end donates to pbs because she hates them, and joey gets a lot of air time. Meanwhile, Monica tries to convince Rachel that she's dating someone from work to hide her relationship with Chandler. a very good episode indeed.moreless
  • ...

    A great episode, with a really interessting storyline and a good and funny cast. And like all episodes it has it's great wave in the storyline and a good cliff hanger at the end. A great episode, with a really interessting storyline and a good and funny cast. And like all episodes it has it's great wave in the storyline and a good cliff hanger at the end. A great episode, with a really interessting storyline and a good and funny cast. And like all episodes it has it's great wave in the storyline and a good cliff hanger at the end.moreless
  • Joey lands a job with PBS telethon which has Phoebe towards the network. Monica tells Rachel that she is dating someone from work to hide her relationship with Chandler. Ross finally hears from Emily.moreless

    Good episode. Monica and Chandler still on their secret relationship no one knows about. Joey is like so desperate for a job and doesnt even know that he has to be on the phone and not t.v. Haha. I like the part when the gang calles Joey and he says if he is on t.v. and they say no so he puts his hand over so you can see his hand on t.v. The part was great. Emily must really hate Rachel then or unless she is jealous! Joey really wants to be on the t.v. and he is when he tackles that guy on t.v. and when Phoebe donates 200 dollars.moreless
Sandra Thigpen

Sandra Thigpen

The Stage Manager

Guest Star

John R. McLaughlin

John R. McLaughlin

The PBS Volunteer

Guest Star

Jane Sibbett

Jane Sibbett

Carol Willick-Bunch [DVD only]

Guest Star

Helen Baxendale

Helen Baxendale

Emily Waltham

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Trivia: For the record, "selfishness" is defined as a willingness to please yourself with complete disregard for--and especially at the expense of--others. Given that definition, even Joey's appearance on the telethon would not be "selfish" (although, neither would it be "selfless"). Phoebe carrying her brother's triplets would be an act of selflessness, even though it made her feel good to do it.

    • Goof: When Susan and Ben come in, they knock. Why would Susan knock at her own apartment?

    • Goof: At the beginning of the episode when Rachel is going into Monica's room, she is wearing closed-toe heels. However, when Rachel bursts out after seeing Monica waiting for Chandler, she is wearing open-toe heels. Then, when Ross and Joey arrive, she's wearing the closed-toe heels again.

    • Continuity: Ross's year of birth is inconsistent. In "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate", (1994) Ross says he is 26, implying he was born in 1967. Also, in "The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends" (1997) he says he is 29. However in the next season in "The One Where They're Going to Party" Ross also says he is 29, implying he was born in 1968. In this episode 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: In the scene where Phoebe complains that she can't find a single selfless good deed, the boom mic is briefly visible at the top of the screen just before the camera zooms in on her.

    • Goof: When Monica walks into Chandler's apartment to get her pan back, the Magna Doodle pen is hanging down. When she goes to leave and Chandler stops her, the pen is attached to the board. When the camera angle changes, the pen is hanging down again.

    • Continuity: Phoebe claims to hate PBS and Sesame Street. But in "The One Where Old Yeller Dies" she watches Sesame Street with Ben.

    • Magna Doodle: Evil Joe (with a drawing of fire)

  • QUOTES (17)

    • (Rachel knocks on Monica's door)
      Monica: (provocatively, thinking it's Chandler) Come in... I've been waiting for you...
      Rachel: (enters) Hi, I've just... (screams and walks quickly out of Monica's room) Oh, my God! Monica!
      Monica: (following Rachel, doing up her robe) I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I was, um, I was taking a nap.
      Rachel: Since when do you take naps in that position?!

    • Ross: (on the phone) I, I, I don't care if I said some other girl's name you prissy, old twit!
      Joey: Ross! Way to suck up to the family.

    • Chandler: (entering with a bottle of champagne for a secret date with Monica) I'm so glad you guys are all here! My office finally got wrinkle-free fax paper!

    • Phoebe: Ooh, PBS...
      Joey: What´s wrong with PBS?
      Phoebe: Oh, what´s right with them?

    • Joey: Look, there is no unselfish good deed. Sorry.
      Phoebe: Yes there are! There are totally good deeds that are self-less.
      Joey: Well, may I ask for one example?
      Phoebe: Yeah, its... you know there's... No, you may not!

    • Joey: That's because all people are selfish.
      Phoebe: Are you calling me selfish?
      Joey: Are you calling you... people?

    • Phoebe: Joey, when you said the deal with Santa Claus, you meant?
      Joey: That he doesn't exist.
      Phoebe: Oh, right. (after thinking about it goes into a state of shock)

    • Rachel: So, Chandler... have you heard about Monica's secret boyfriend?
      Chandler: Uh, yeah, she might have... might have mentioned him.
      Rachel: So, Mon, when are we gonna meet this new, secret waiter man?
      Monica: Oh, he's really shy. I don't think he's going to be meeting anyone.
      Chandler: Yeah, I don't think he's up to meeting anyone.
      Rachel: I don't care. I want to meet this guy who's the best sex she ever had.
      Chandler (perking up): Really? That's what you heard? (to Monica) You said that?
      Monica: I might've said that.
      (Chandler starts cackling gleefully)
      Monica: Why is that funny?
      Chandler: Because... I'm very happy for him... And you, you lucky dog!

    • Phoebe: I will find a selfless good deed, because I just gave birth to three children, and I will not let them be raised in a world where Joey is right!

    • Chandler: Hey, Monica, can I ask you a cooking question?
      Monica: Sure.
      Chandler: If you're cooking on the stove, does that mean that your new secret boyfriend is better in bed than Richard?
      Rachel: (scolding) Chandler! (then suddenly interested) Is he?
      Monica: You know, I think I'm going to respect the privacy of my new secret boyfriend.
      Chandler: Why? I mean, if this guy was me... and it was me who had learned that it was me who was the best you'd ever had, I'd be going like this... (jumps up onto the coffee table and starts dancing)

    • Chandler (to the chick and duck): How many times have I told you guys to never watch the cooking channel?!

    • Chandler: Hey, Joey's gonna be at the telethon the rest of the day and we have the whole place to ourselves.
      Monica: Yeah, so?
      Chandler: Well, I thought maybe you'd want to book some time with the best you've ever had.
      Monica: You know what... champ? I think I'll pass.
      Chandler: Why?
      Monica: Why? (starts dancing like Chandler)
      Chandler: What's your point?
      Monica: With all that stupid gloating, would you wanna sleep with you?
      Chandler: Well, I think I'd be a little out of my league, but I'd give it a shot.

    • Phoebe: I just found a selfless good deed; I went to the park and let a bee sting me.
      Joey: How is that a good deed?
      Phoebe: Because now the bee gets to look tough in front of his bee friends. The bee is happy and I am not.
      Joey: Now you know the bee probably died when he stung you?
      Phoebe: Dammit!

    • Ross: Okay then. Here we go. Magic 8 Ball, should I never see Rachel again? (reading 8 Ball) "Ask Again Later." Later is not good enough! (shakes 8 Ball violently and reads) "Ask Again Later." What the hell?! This is broken! It... it is broken!
      Monica: Alright, let me see. Will Chandler have sex tonight? (turns over 8 Ball and reads answer) "Don't Count On It." Seems like it works to me.

    • Phoebe: (about donating $200 to PBS) By supporting them, I'm doing a good thing. But, I'm not happy about it. So, there! A selfless good deed.
      Joey: All right. You don't feel a little good about donating the money?
      Phoebe: No, it sucks. I was saving up to buy a hamster.
      Joey: A hamster? But those things are like ten bucks.
      Phoebe: Yeah, not the one I had my eye on.

    • Chandler: Look, maybe I got carried away before but there's something you gotta know. If I'm the best, it's only because you made me the best.
      Monica: Keep talking.
      Chandler: I mean, I was nothin' before you. Call the other girls and ask--which wouldn't take long. But when I'm with you, and we're together... Oh, my God!

    • Chandler: (to Monica) Now, I understand if you never want to sleep with me again. But that would be wrong. We're too good. We owe it... to sex!

  • NOTES (5)


    • Monica: I'm seeing a guy from work!
      Rachel: That cute waiter guy from your restaurant? The one that looks like a nonthreatening Ray Liotta?
      Ray Liotta is an Emmy Award-winning actor known for his roles in Goodfellas and Something Wild. He frequently portrays psychotic characters.

    • Rachel: Looks like Stella's gonna get her groove back tonight!
      Rachel was referring to How Stella Got Her Groove Back, a 1998 romantic comedy/drama starring Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs.

    • Telethon Host: Now, if you've been enjoying the performance of Cirque du Soleil and you'd like to see more of the same type of programming, it's very simple.

      Cirque du Soleil ("Circus of the Sun") is a famous circus production where the performers are people acting to music.

    • Ross: It'll be just like Three's Company only there's a kid and my wife... and you're the gay ones.
      Three's Company is a an American TV show about a guy and two girls living together and their misunderstandings.

    • Phoebe: ...After my mom killed herself, I was just in this really bad place, y'know, personally. So, I just thought that it'd make me feel better if I wrote to Sesame Street, 'cause they were so nice when I was a little kid!
      Sesame Street is a popular children's television show.