Season 4 Episode 3

The One with the 'Cuffs

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 09, 1997 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
257 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Monica caters a party for her mother, who still doesn't quite know how to talk to her daughter. Chandler's encounter with Rachel's boss leads to an embarrassing situation. And an encyclopedia salesman takes advantage of Joey.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Chandler half-naked in a chair.

    I like how they brought back the Chandler & Joanna storyline & in a way they made the plot more livelier with cuffs & a perfect way to end the Chandler & Joanna relationship is to put Joanna in cuffs. I like how Rachel gets mixed in to this whole situation. I like how the no furniture plot continues as Joey gets took advantage by a salesman a& still having nothing. I liked how he learned about everything that started with a V. That plot was pretty funny. The dramatic plot was Monica & her mom with the catering. Monica's mom finally accepts her. Phoebe made the whole storyline funnier as usual. Great episode.moreless
  • hilarious

    Chandler gets handcufffed to a chair in Joanna's office and is half naked. Rachel finds hersdelf in a dilemna when she lets him out of the chair and then cuffs him to a filing cabinet. Rachel then offers "generous" measures to escape the wrath of her boss. I don't think I laughed so much.
  • Not the best but still great.

    One of the worse season 4 episodes but still great. In this episode Rachel tells Chandler to break up with her boss Joanna, but Joanna leaves Chandler handcuffed to her desk for hours. Rachel is mad at him and doesn't want to let him go because Joanna will know that she let him out. Chandler says that all he wants is his freedom but Rachel makes him an offer he can't say no to. Monica is asked to cater for her mother, but she loses a blue fingernail in one of the quiches. Judy had something prepared though incase she 'pulled a Monica'. Phoebe encourages Monica to make her own things anyway andt goes down a success. Judy apologises and promises that she'll trust Monica next time. Joey ends up buying an encyclopedia from a salesman who takes advantage of him. The funniest parts of the episode are scattered between the storylines for a nice balance, but it loses some of its spark whilst doing so. No one storyline stands out too much, which is in some ways good, but can make the entire episode seem dull in others.moreless
  • The cuffs offer great fun!

    In this episode, Monica, with Phoebe's help, decides to cater a luncheon for her mother, only to learn that her mother still doesn't trust her...but only after breaking off a nail and accidentally cooking it into the food, having no idea which dish the nail is in. Meanwhile, Joey, home all alone and unsupervised, is taken advantage of by an encyclopedia salesman. Discovering that he always feels out of place when discussing major political or social issues with the gang, Joey ends up purchasing just one letter-edition of the entire 26-book series...the letter V. But most of this episode's fun comes from the trouble that Chandler runs into with Rachel's boss Joanna. After having a quickie in Joanna's office, Joanna is forced to leave the office and handcuffs Chandler to her rolling chair pantless. With the key and his pants on the hook on the back of the office door, Rachel discovers Chandler locked in the office and only after unlocking him does she realize that she needs to immediately lock him back up, for fear that Joanna will know that she was in her office. The negotiating that Chandler and Rachel must partake in gives this quirky episode a clever, very fun punch.moreless
Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette

the Salesman

Special Guest Star

Christina Pickles

Christina Pickles

Judy Geller

Recurring Role

Alison La Placa

Alison La Placa


Recurring Role

Laura Dean

Laura Dean


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Goof: When the encyclopedia salesman is talking about Van Gogh, he points to a page in the encyclopedia saying "He painted that." However, the page he points at clearly only has text.

    • Continuity: When Monica arrives at her parents' house to cater their event, her mother comments disapprovingly on her blue nail polish. Monica says she thought it was cute, and Mrs. Geller replies "it's what your grandmother's hands looked like when we found her." However, neither of Monica's grandmothers were "found" after passing away. Monica's maternal grandmother died at the hospital with the family present in "The One Where Nana Dies Twice," so she was not "found" dead. Monica's paternal grandmother is still alive at this time, because she attends Monica and Chandler's wedding in Season 7 – her attendance at their wedding is referenced in "The One with Chandler and Monica's Wedding: Part 2".

    • Magna Doodle: A drawing of a smiley face

    • Goof: In Joanna's office when Chandler and Rachel are pulling on his pants, Rachel says "What if I clean your bathroom for a month?" and she throws the pants onto a chair. But when Chandler later says "Freedom. I want my freedom. Why won't you hear me?" he opens the door to yell to Sophie and they are both holding the pants again.

    • Goof: In the scenes in which Chandler is handcuffed to the chair, he could easily lift the chair up in order to take the key off of the hook. Why doesn't he?

    • Goof: When Rachel is asking Chandler to dump Joanna, the door to Chandler's bedroom is closed, but when Chandler tells Rachel that he hopes she knows what he's giving up for her, the bedroom door is suddenly open.

    • Goof: In the scene where Joey takes the "V" volume of the encyclopedia from the salesman, he has a $50 bill between his fingers while flipping through the pages. The next shot is of the salesman folding the $50 to put in his shirt pocket, even though Joey never gave him the bill.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Joey: (carrying a rusty patio table and its umbrella into the apartment) Hey! We are so in luck! Treeger said we could have all this cool stuff from the basement! Wait right there.
      Chandler: (sitting in their canoe) Oh, no-no-no... I'm paddling away!
      (Joey brings in two matching lawn chairs)
      Chandler: Really? We got all this rusty crap for free?
      Joey: Uh huh! This, and a bunch of bubble wrap... and some of it's not even popped!
      (The duck and the chick wander noisily into the living room)
      Chandler: (looking around at the empty apartment, the rusty lawn furniture, the canoe and the birds) Could we be more white trash?

    • Monica: How desperate am I?
      Rachel: Ach! Good thing Chandler's not here.... he always wins at this game.

    • Chandler: Hey, uh, Rach'. Funny story, I bumped into Joanna on the street, yesterday.
      Rachel: My boss Joanna? Well, that must have been awkward.
      Chandler: Well no, actually, she uh, asked me if I wanted to get a drink.
      Rachel: (laughs nervously) You, uh, didn't say yes to that, did you?
      Chandler: (awkwardly) No, uh, no!
      Joanna: (coming out of the bathroom and going into Chandler's bedroom) Hello, Rachel.
      Chandler: Well, not at first!

    • Monica: Why did you hire me?
      Judy: Oh, well Richard raved about the food at his party--of course you were sleeping with him. Then I heard the food at that lesbian wedding was very nice--I assume you weren't sleeping with anybody there... though, at least that would be something. (she leaves the kitchen.)
      Monica: (to Phoebe) Oh, my God! Did you hear that? She hired me because she thinks I'm good.
      Phoebe: Okay, I didn't hear that...
      Monica: Oh yeah. She didn't hire me out of pity... it wasn't so she could pick on me in front of her friends... she actually thinks I'm good!
      Phoebe: Wow! And hey, it's cool if you're a lesbian!

    • Joanna: (to Chandler) Wait, what are you doing?
      Chandler: Getting dressed.
      Joanna: Why?
      Chandler: Well, when I walk outside naked, people throw garbage at me.

    • Chandler: (to Rachel) Okay, here's the situation. The keys to the cuffs are on the back of the door. Could you be a doll and grab them and scoot on over here and unlock me? And on a totally separate subject, that is a lovely pantsuit.

    • Rachel: And the fact that you were jeopardizing my career never entered your mind?
      Chandler: It did enter my mind... But then something happened that made it... shoot right out!

  • NOTES (2)


    • Rachel: You know what, Chandler? You got yourself into those cuffs, you get yourself out of them.
      Chandler: No, no, no-no-no-no... I can't get myself right out of them. You must have me confused with "The Amazing Chandler"!
      At one time, it was traditional for magicians to add "Amazing" to their name, such as "The Amazing Kreskin" or "The Amazing Randi."

    • Salesman: For example, do you know anything about Vulcanized Rubber?
      Joey: Spock's birth control...
      This is a reference to the character Spock from Star Trek, who was an extraterrestrial of the Vulcan race.

    • Rachel: I can make you this generation's Milton Berle.

      Rumor has it that Milton Berle was one of the most well-endowed men in show-business. He claimed to take innumerable locker room bets, winning every one. When asked to reveal the true dimensions of his prize possession, he played coy: "I'll never tell," he'd say. "I just take out enough to win."