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Recap / Friends S 4 E 8 The One With Chandler In A Box

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For Thanksgiving, Monica invites Richard's son to dinner. Joey decides that he will only forgive Chandler if Chandler spends Thanksgiving inside a large box.

Tropes

  • The Atoner: Chandler is willing to do anything to get Joey to forgive him, even stay inside a box for six hours.
  • Bait-and-Switch: During The Stinger the other five watch Chandler and Kathy reunite from the balcony... and instead see "Chandler" to mug "Kathy" for her purse. Turns out they were accidentally watching the wrong two people.
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  • Call-Back: Joey recalls the time he got trapped in the entertainment center for six hours, thinking about how he let Chandler down. This gives him the idea to have Chandler lock himself in the box.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A rare justified example. Rachel brings back a box of mementos of her dates, such as a fossil from his museum from their first date with Ross to show she still cared about him even if she returned his gifts. Ross' first response is to point out that she's not allowed to just take fossils from the museum and his workers are probably still looking for it.
  • Continuity Nod: When the others mock her for dating her ex-boyfriend's son, Monica let's them know that they are in no position to judge.
    Monica: Fine, fine, judge all you want to but, (to Ross) married a lesbian, (to Rachel) left a man at the altar, (to Phoebe) fell in love with a gay ice dancer, (to Joey) threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire, (to Chandler) lives in a box!
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  • Eye Scream: Monica gets hit in the eye with a shard of ice and spends much of the episode wearing an eyepatch. When she and Rachel see how cute the ophthalmologist is, Rachel considers jamming a pen in her eye.
  • Friendship Moment: Joey saying to open the box so that Chandler can go after Kathy.
  • Grail in the Garbage: After being constantly mocked for exchanging gifts, Rachel takes out a box of mementos to prove to Ross that she does keep things that are important to her about their friendship. They are a movie ticket from their first date, an eggshell from when he first made breakfast in bed, and a fossil from when they first had sex. While touched by her sentiment, Ross points out that she wasn't supposed to take that, as it's millions of years old and they actually had people searching for it.
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  • Gratuitous Italian: Joey gives Chandler the standard Italian insult "Va fa Napoli!"note  Rachel later uses the same expression against Ross.
  • Love Father, Love Son: Monica becomes attracted to the son of her ex-boyfriend Richard. The rest of the gang think it's weird but Monica ignores them. When they finally kiss Monica pulls away because it reminds her too much of kissing his father (and in the extended cut Tim admits that Monica reminds him of his mother). They immediately part ways and Monica is seen shuddering as she remembers what almost happened.
    Phoebe: Monica, do you really want to be in a relationship where you can actually use the phrase, "That's not how your dad used to do it"?
  • Rule of Three:
    Chandler: The meaning of the box is threefold: One, it gives me the time to think about what I did; two, it proves how much I care about my friendship with Joey; and three... it hurts!
  • Thanksgiving Episode: As is traditional, Monica is hosting dinner and invites Richard's son to join them so she can have a chance to flirt with him.
  • Triang Relations: Joey makes it clear he's angry at Chandler, not Kathy. Kathy tells Chandler (in the box) that she can't be someone who comes between two friends.
  • The Voiceless: Joey has Chandler stop talking while he's in the box, so it is clear Chandler is taking this seriously. When Kathy stops by to break up with Chandler, she says him not saying anything will make it easier.


 
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Monica calls out her Friends

The Friends keep taking shots at Monica for inviting her ex-boyfriend's son over for Thanksgiving dinner, so she hits back by bringing up embarrassing things they've done from prior episodes.

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