This episode was just insane. There were funny parts, of course; Joey goes on a date with a woman, and when they go back to her place for some hot and heavy lovin', he realizes that he's been here before. Naturally, he can't understand why she doesn't remember him. Watching Joey try to figure out what's going on (and watching his ego suffer in the process) is pretty funny. And watching Ross totally mess up Phoebe's relationship with Mike, and try to fix it by making up creative stories about her past, is even funnier.
But those are just the side plots, the filler material. The main storyline of this episode, the one the episode is named after, is this: Chandler is still working in Tulsa ("The Paris of Oklahoma!") and living in a hotel. Monica, being the sweet and caring wife that she is, decides to pay him a surprise visit. Chandler, of course, thinks he's going to be alone for the night, and being Chandler, he decides to entertain himself by tuning the ol' hotel room TV to some good old-fashioned all-American hardcore girl-on-girl action so he can vigorously molest himself.
Naturally, Monica gets the desk clerk to give her a key to Chandler's room so she can surprise him, and surprise him she does -- as she bursts into the room and yells "Surprise!", Chandler leaps up and shouts "Do not disturb! Do not disturb!" and changes the channel while desperately trying to cover himself up. Monica knows what was going on, of course, but in the interests of marital harmony she pretends that she didn't notice, and Chandler pretends that he still has his dignity, and everything is hunky dory.
Until Chandler leaves the room for some reason and Monica happens to look at the TV. Of course, Chandler had just changed channels randomly, and apparently he landed on the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet or something, because there's a program about sharks on.
Now, any normal person, even on a sitcom, would think "Heh heh ... man, that Chandler is fast at changing the channel when he gets caught masturbating I can't emphasize this point enough. *Nobody*, in the *entire universe*, would think anything else.
But Monica, instead of coming to this *rational* and *sane* conclusion, immediately thinks "Hey, Chandler was watching a shark program. And he was masturbating He was *pleasuring himself* to a show about *sharks*!!!!! My husband is turned on by angry sharks omg omg omg!!11!!1!1!!!"
And for pretty much the *entire* rest of the show, Monica is freaking out about how her husband is a deviant, a shark fetishist, a fish fiend. She even discusses it with Rachel, who doesn't say "Hey, maybe he changed the channel." Noooo, that's just waaaaaaaaaay too farfetched for anybody to think of it. Instead, Rachel actually encourages Monica's nutty misunderstanding. And Monica goes so far as to rent a shark movie for Chandler and her to make sweet love by -- at one point she even asks him if he wants her to "thrash." The mind boggles. Then, of course, everything is resolved and they have a good laugh about things, and Monica is wonderfully content in the knowledge that her husband likes to watch hot female strangers delight each other in various ways. Ah, bliss.
Look, I'm all for zany misunderstandings in sitcoms; oftentimes, they're good stuff. But this ... I just can't understand how this episode could have been written. The only scenario I can think of that makes an ounce of sense is that show's writers went to a strip joint after work, got totally bombed on Zima, and decided to come up with the stupidest and least-plausible idea for an episode of Friends that had ever been done, and then after they wrote it on the back of a cocktail napkin they all kept daring each other to actually turn it in and pretend it was a serious teleplay for an episode, and it just so happened that the producers had all suffered serious head wounds minutes before and said "Man, this is some quality sitcom writing! We HAVE to make this!" and everybody was too embarrassed to confess that it was all a prank, so they added a couple of scenes for Joey and Phoebe and Ross, called it a day, and all headed back to the nudie bar for Appletinis.
Yeah. Betcha that's what happened.