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Recap / Friends S1E4 "The One with George Stephanopoulos"

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Chandler and Joey take Ross out to cheer him up. He is upset because it is the anniversary of his first time with Carol. They go to a hockey game, and Ross gets hit in the face with a hockey puck. They take him to the emergency room, where they have to wait for a long time and the nurse is rude to them. Ross is cheered up when, during a tug of war with a young boy, the hockey puck hits the nurse in the face.

Rachel is depressed because so much of her paycheck was withheld for taxes. The girls have a sleepover and get drunk. They order pizza and accidentally receive a pizza belonging to a G. Stephanopoulos. They learn that George Stephanopoulos himself lives across the street and they spy on him and his date.


  • An Aesop: Don't freak out if others are making more progress with their life than you are, it'll take time, but there's always something to be happy about while you are figuring it out.
  • Arrow Cam: Or rather, hockey puck cam.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the beginning of the episode, they're all discussing what they would do if they were omnipotent for a day. Phoebe goes on to use this trope:
    Phoebe: Ok, ok. If I were omnipotent for a day, I would want, hum, world peace, no more hunger, good things for the rain forest. And bigger boobs!
  • Brick Joke: Rachel accidentally drops a pillow off of Monica's balcony, which is swiftly forgotten. The very end of the episode has a man knock on her door and hand said pillow to a very confused Chandler.
  • Cheer Up Episode: Both plot lines.
    • Joey and Chandler invite Ross to a hockey game to help him get over his marital problems.
    • Monica and Phoebe try to cheer up Rachel when she starts regretting starting a new life. Ironically, they end up bumming themselves out when they realize that neither of them have any plans for the future.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Everything Ross sees on the way to the hockey game reminds him of Carol the shoes at a store window, a peach pit on the sidewalk...
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Despite what the episode's title might imply, George Stephanopoulos himself is The Ghost, and never appears at any point. Had the episode been produced when the show was more established, odds are they'd have been able to get hold of the real Stephanopoulos for at least a brief cameo.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: After learning from the pizza guy that George Stephanopoulos lives across the street, the girls all camp out on the balcony to spy on him.
  • Genki Girl: Rachel and her three friends are constantly squealing and waving their arms, which Monica and Phoebe make fun of.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot:
    Ross: You know what? Id better pass on the game. Im just gonna go home and think about my ex-wife and her lesbian lover.
    Joey: The hell with hockey, lets all do that!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The mean receptionist at the emergency room gets hers when Ross tries to wrest the hockey puck from a kid and it ends up flying into her face.
  • Malaproper: Joey confuses "omnipotent" with "impotent".
    Monica: Hey, Joey! What would you do if you were omnipotent?
    Joey: Probably kill myself.
    Monica: Excuse me?
    Joey: Hey, if Little Joey's dead, I got no reason to live.
    Ross: Uhm, Joey... omnipotent.
    Joey: You are? I'm so sorry.
  • Right Through the Wall: Phoebe stays with Monica and Rachel because she's being kept awake by her grandmother loudly talking to her new boyfriend during sex.
    Phoebe: My grandmother has this new boyfriend, and they're both kind of insecure in bed. Oh, and deaf. So they're constantly, like, having to reassure each other that they're having a good time. You have no idea how loud they are!
  • Slumber Party: The girls decide to turn Phoebe staying over into a full sleepover complete with board games, trashy magazines and a lot of alcohol. Rachel, who's having a hard time adjusting to her new life, eagerly accepts the booze.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: It's implied that George Stephanopoulos ordered the pizza to share with the woman in his apartment after they had sex.
  • Their First Time: Ross confesses that his first time with Carol was his first time ever, meaning hes only had sex with one woman.
  • Triage Tyrant: The nurse who ends up with a face full of hockey puck.
  • Truth-Telling Session: The girls have one while watching for George Stephanopoulos.
  • Wishing for More Wishes: The episode starts with the gang discussing what they'd do if they were omnipotent for a day and Chandler says he'd make himself omnipotent forever. Rachel lampshades how there's always someone who tries this.