Season 1 Episode 5

The One with the East German Laundry Detergent

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 20, 1994 on NBC

Episode Recap

At Central Perk, the entire gang is there, having their male versus female discussion of the week. Ross can't get over how amazing it is for a woman to be able to reach inside her blouse and her bra comes out her sleeve, like a magic trick. Rachel counters that being able to pee standing up is something she wishes to do. Joey, on the other hand, is boggled about the fact that women have breasts and are not self-consumed by them throughout their day like he would be.

Next, the discussion moves towards Chandler and his plan to finally break it off with his nasally girlfriend, Janice. He feels too bad to just break it off with her. Joey gives the advice that he should "Be a man, just stop calling." Phoebe offers to break-up with Janice for Chandler if Chandler will do the same with her boyfriend, Tony.

Rachel comes over to the gang, in her uniform, on duty and in a foul mood. Phoebe asks what's wrong: Rachel's dad wants to give her a Mercedes convertible if she moves back home. Her father told her she will never be able to make it on her own so she should just give it up now.

At this moment, a very beautfiul woman in a very tight dress enters Central Perk, it's Angela, a former girlfriend of Joey's. She see's him, say's hello and takes a seat at the counter. Joey becomes very interested once he sees how she's changed her wardrobe to dress sexy.

Ross & Rachel are standing next to one of the coffee tables, talking about their plans for the night. Rachel tells Ross that she will be at the laundromat with Monica. Ross see's the opportunity to spend a Saturday night with Rachel and tells her that he will be there too. Rachel asks him why he just doesn't use his own laundry and he makes up the excuse that rats are becoming attracted to the dryer sheets. He makes plans to meet her at the laundromat at seven.

Joey & Angela are at the counter. Joey is trying to make his move but Angela informs him she is with Bob, a smart, sophisticated man with "a real job." She is tired of Joey calling himself an actor when he has never got a part. Joey, not wanting to lose a hot woman, doesn't give in. But Angela sticks her ground and says she is only doing what Joey asked: "Let's just be friends." Joey, not missing a beat, suggests that Angela & Bob go to dinner with him & his 'girlfriend' Monica, as 'friends'.

At Monica & Rachel's apartment, Joey is fervently trying to convince Monica to pose as his girlfriend. He wants to hook Monica up with Bob so he can have Angela all to himself. Joey tells Monica that Bob is the perfect guy for her, but Monica doesn't go for it. Joey, trying a new tactic, tells Monica that Bob is Angela's brother. Monica looks out the window, not listening to Joey and says, "Oh, god help us," when she sees the Ugly Naked Guy putting kitchen tiles in his apartment. Causing Joey and Monica to become disgusted. Joey eventually persuades Monica to do this for him, as a favour because he made a big mistake breaking up with Angela.

At Ross' apartment, Chandler is keeping him company. Ross just gets off the phone to discover Monica is not coming to the laundromat, so it will be him & Rachel. Chandler insists this makes it a 'date', but Ross disagrees because it's only laundry. But Ross starts to see Chandler's point and takes his advice: Leave the dirty underwear at home and buy a manly fabric softener not Snuggles, Ross' favourite.

Joey & Monica are finally at the dinner date at a fancy looking restaurant. Monica tries to figure out what Bob looks like but quickly figures out Joey has no idea, so this is a 'blind date'. Right as she says this, Angela & Bob walk in... Bob is handsome.

At Central Perk, Chandler & Phoebe are there, both ready to break up with their significant others. Janice & Tony enter, causing Chandler to go into a mini panic attack. Janice greets Chandler with her signature, "Oh, my god." She just tells him that she is glad he called her because she had the worst day today. Chandler realises this is not the prime time for a break up. Janice talks about how her day at work was bad because the proofs of her photo shoot turned out bad, so she decided to go shopping and buy Chandler a gift. Chandler looks over at Phoebe & Tony and notices how easily Phoebe breaks up with Tony. They talk for a few seconds, hug, and than Tony leaves. Chandler is amazed at how easily Phoebe can break-up with someone, causing him not to hear what Janice is talking about. Janice shows Chandler his gift, Bullwinkle socks. He pretends to like it. Chandler's espresso arrives and he downs it in one gulp before ordering another one. He walks over to the counter where Phoebe is to talk about the break-up.

Rachel is at the Laundromat, waiting for Ross to arrive. An old woman goes to Rachel's machine, takes out her clothes and begins loading it with her things. Rachel, trying to be polite, tells the older woman that she was kinda using the machine. The woman says, "Now you're kinda not". Leaving Rachel to defend herself by saying she put her basket in front of the washing machine. But the lady says "No suds, no save."

Ross finally arrives and asks whats going on when he sees how upset Rachel looks. She fills him in and he goes over to the woman to try and reason with her. The woman & Ross just stare each other out until she finally takes her stuff out of Rachel's machine and leaves. Rachel is smiling, she can't believe Ross did that. Ross becomes flustered by Rachel's smile. He pulls out a huge box of laundry detergent. Rachel asks what it is, Ross tells her "Uberveiss. It's new, it's German, it's extra-tough." Rachel begins to load all her clothes into the machine. Ross asks her if she has ever done laundry before. She confesses to being a "laundry virgin." He quickly fills her in on the basics: use one machine for whites, one for colours, and one for delicates. Rachel holds up a pair of her panties in front of Ross and asks him if they go in the whites or delicates because they are white cotton. Ross is very nervous and agitated at the sight of Rachel's underwear and is unable to answer.

Back at the fancy restaurant, Monica, Joey, Angela, & Bob are seated at a table. Monica is definitely interested in Bob and talks to Angela and Bob about where they grew up, still thinking they are siblings. When Angela says Brooklyn Heights and Bob says Cleveland, Monica gets confused. Joey pretends he is dizzy in order to keep Monica from the truth.

Joey & Bob are at the table, the girls are in the bathroom. Joey uses this time to figure out how serious Bob is about Angela. Once he finds out Bob likes her, Joey tries to sabotage by saying he used to love how she makes a weasel noise when she eats. Bob says he never noticed it but Joey says listen for it. Bob tells Joey how great Monica is & Joey uses this as a way to tell Bob that the relationship won't last because she is, "Too much for me in bed."

In the ladies' bathroom at the restaurant, Monica & Angela are talking. Monica is telling Angela how terrific she thinks Bob is, how smart & funny he is. Angela agrees and mentions how great he is in bed. This puts Monica off a bit, still thinking the two are siblings. She is stunned and tells Angela her brother never even told her when he lost his virginity.

At Central Perk, Phoebe coaches Chandler on ways to break up with Janice. She says pretend it's a Band-aid, the faster the better. Chandler walks back to the couch where Janice is sitting. He does it, he tells her, "I don't think we should go out anymore." Janice gets very upset at this and tries to calm herself down.

Rachel is confessing stuff to Ross at the laundromat. She tells him that she feels once she learns to do her own laundry, she will feel like she can do anything. Ross agrees with her saying its like when he had to make dinner for himself once Carol left. The washing machine's buzzer sounds off, he opens the lid and says "Uh-oh" which Rachel doesn't like to hear. He doesn't want to tell her so he pretends he is making a song, "Uh-oh the laundry's done, uh-oh, uh-oh." Rachel doesn't buy it & Ross relents, telling her she left a red sock with her whites, leaving everything pinkish.

Ross doesn't want her to be upset, especially after her pep talk just moments earlier. Rachel becomes dejected and thinks her father is right, that she can't even do her own laundry without screwing up. The woman who tried to steal Rachel's washing machine walks by & laughs.

Back at the restaurant, all 4 are at the table. Angela has her hand in Bob's shirt, leaving Monica very uncomfortable. She tries to make conversation, but can't get her eyes off the sight of what she thinks is incest. So she pretends she has something in her eye and has Joey take her to a lighted area to get it out. They walk away from the table, allowing Monica to let loose. Joey pretends it's nothing, "They're close." She realises how sick this is, for a brother and sister to act and forces Joey to tell the truth, that Angela & Bob are dating. She lightly hits Joey before telling him she is leaving, Joey stops her, saying Bob really likes her & if the two of them put their heads together, they can break the couple up.

Monica accidentally spills her drink on Bob's shirt & wipes it off while Joey flirts with Angela. Angela, meanwhile, is busy eating her chicken wings and makes the weasel-like noise Joey told Bob about. Joey sees Bob getting agitated and orders another plate of chicken wings.

At Central Perk, Chandler is trying to ease things with Janice. There are about a dozen empty Espresso cups in front of him & he is very wired. He tells her, "I'm like the bing, bing, bing. You're like the boom, boom," while he flails his hands, causing one hand to hit Janice in the eye. He asks if she is okay, she says it's her contact & she will be right back.

Chandler, very wired from the coffee, tells Phoebe in an over-exaggerated manner that he hit her in the eye, this is the worst break-up in history. He drinks another espresso. Janice returns from the bathroom, Chandler begins to hyperventilate so Phoebe takes control of the situation. She speaks to Janice for a few seconds, Janice immediately smiles, they hug, she waves to chandler before leaving. Chandler is stunned at how easily Phoebe can do that.

Rachel is busy sorting through her now pink coloured clothes. Ross is trying to inspire her. The old woman walks over & takes Rachel's laundry cart. Rachel tells the lady it's her cart, she had it first, but the old lady doesn't care. Rachel gives a look to Ross, who motions to her to get the cart back, this is her move for independence.

Rachel, trying to be polite, approaches the woman again. The woman is anything but polite, causing Rachel to stand up for herself. The two fight over the cart, struggling for it. Finally Rachel climbs inside of it. The woman gives up and walks away. Rachel is happy and Ross is happy as well. Rachel stands up & kisses Ross. He is stunned. A moment of silence follows. He then acts like nothing happens and turns to put clothes in the dryer, but bangs his head on an open dryer door.

At Central Perk, Rachel, Phoebe & Ross are sitting down. Rachel asks if he is okay and if he is in pain. She feels bad. Phoebe sees Rachel's clothes and likes it, vows to do the same thing next time she does laundry.

Monica & Joey enter. Phoebe asks how the date went. Great. Monica & Joey were able to tear the couple apart and keep the "pieces for ourselves." Rachel asks where Chandler is, Phoebe tells her that he needed time to grieve. Chandler is seen running by the window outside, full of joy, shouting "I'm free!"

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