Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Friends S 5 E 11 The One With All The Resolutions

Go To
Just after New Year's Day, everyone makes a resolution for the upcoming year, and they all have trouble keeping them:

  • Rachel resolves to stop gossiping, and then starts learning a bunch of secrets, including a particularly juicy one.
  • Monica resolves to take more pictures of everyone and goes so overboard with it that the rest of them quickly get annoyed at her.
  • Phoebe resolves learn how to fly a commercial jet, not realizing what a difficult endeavor that actually is.
  • Joey resolves to learn how to play guitar, but finds out his teacher (Phoebe) has very little idea of how to play or teach.
  • Chandler resolves to go a full week without a single mocking comment, and everyone starts doing dumb or ridiculous things that he wants to make fun of.
  • Ross resolves to do one new thing every day, which quickly gets him in trouble when his "new thing" is a tight pair of pants, and he's stuck in his date's bathroom unable to put them back on.


  • Aside Comment: After Ross comes home a complete mess following his leather pants fiasco, Chandler (bound by the Side Bet) looks towards the audience and lets out a low and annoyed, "Oh, my God."
  • Blinding Camera Flash: Monica's camera isn't the worst example but Ross still tells her to stop taking pictures of Ben before she blinds the child with the flash.
  • Brick Joke: In The Stinger, Chandler gives Ross the money they bet - and proceeds to mock everything that he had kept silent about during the episode.
  • Camera Fiend: Monica turns into one as she takes her resolution to take more pictures of the group too far.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Could almost be called "The One Where Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere", since Chandler and Rachel both resolve to stop a particular habit of theirs and almost immediately have trouble. Rachel decides to stop gossiping, hears all sorts of interesting gossip at work, and then finds out that Monica and Chandler are hooking up. Chandler decides to stop making fun of the rest of them, and even makes a bet with Ross (who says he won't last even a week), and within a day everyone is doing things that Chandler would normally snark at them for.
  • Advertisement:
  • Compressed Vice: Rachel's inability to stop gossiping. While it's not that she's never gossiped before, she's also never gone out of her way to air her co-workers' dirty laundry to her friends, either. This, of course, is done to make finding out about Chandler and Monica harder on her than it was for Joey.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Referenced twice, both involving Ross. First, when Ross says his resolution is to "make myself happy", Chandler asks if the others should leave the room. Then when Ross comes out of Elizabeth's bathroom with his pants off with lotion and talcum powder all over them and his legs, making it look like he ejaculated all over himself.
  • Double Entendre: Phoebe likes to give the chords strange names, which leads to this little gem:
    Phoebe: You nailed the "old lady"!
  • Eccentric Mentor: Since Phoebe taught herself how to play guitar, her methods of teaching Joey are... interesting. For example, she named the chords after what her hand is doing when she makes them. She is hurt when Joey gets professional lessons on the side.
  • Face Palm: Ross when putting on lotion to put on his pants fails. He gets lotion on his face, which wasn't in the script but was kept in because of how funny it was.
  • The Gadfly: The other friends gladly try to provoke Chandler into saying something insulting or refuse to find something worthy of mockery when he's in the room.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Ross proudly proclaims he'll only have the one divorce (from Emily) in 1999, but later that year he ends up drunkenly marrying Rachel in Vegas and then getting a divorce.
  • Inherently Funny Word: Hornswoggle, Elizabeth's last name, is so funny Chandler nearly has an aneurysm when he realises his Resolution (and bet) means he can't joke about it.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Rachel tricks Joey into confirming that he knows about Chandler and Monica this way.
    Rachel: All right, how about I go over there and I will walk into Chandler's bedroom and I will see that thing that I think that I know is actually the thing that I think that I know!
    Joey: YOU KNOW?!
    Rachel: AND YOU KNOW!
  • Internal Reveal: Rachel picks up the phone to make a call and hears Monica and Chandler making plans to meet up later that night, unintentionally revealing their secret relationship to her.
  • Landline Eavesdropping: Rachel doing this by accident is how she learns about Monica and Chandler.
  • Mistaken for Flatulence: Ross buys some leather pants. Unfortunately moving around on a vinyl couch wearing leather pants can create some suspicious sounds...
    Ross: That was just the pants on the couch.
  • New Year's Kiss: Joey scrambles to arrange kisses between the rest of the gang so Chandler and Monica can kiss at midnight without exposing their Secret Relationship.
  • New Year's Resolution: Everyone makes one. Nobody follows through for very long.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Ross can't get his tight pants back on, and uses some baby powder from his date's bathroom and then some lotion on his legs, both without success. The end result is that the lotion and powder mix into a paste and get everywhere. So he ends up walking out of the bathroom, carrying his pants (which are covered in a creamy white substance), and says that he had a problem.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rachel when finding out about Chandler and Monica.
    • Joey and Rachel upon learning that the other already knows the big secret.
    • Ross when he can't put his leather pants back on.
  • Painted-On Pants: The leather pants Ross buys are extremely tight, so tight that he can't get them back on after taking them off in Elizabeth's bathroom. On seeing them Chandler desperately tries to prompt one of the other friends to mock them so he won't have to break his resolution.
  • Sanity Slippage: Chandler starts growing more and more agitated at being unable to joke about anything his friends do, to the point that he eventually asks Phoebe "what's the boiling point of brain?"
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Once Rachel and Joey realize the other knows about Chandler and Monica's secret relationship, Joey tells her she can't tell anyone else about it because of their insistence on keeping it a secret.
  • Series Continuity Error: Phoebe claims to not know guitar chords by their proper names, yet in Season Two's "The One With The Baby On The Bus", she is able to name them when prompted.
    • This could have been just Phoebe trolling Joey. She wouldn't even let him have a guitar! Her eccentric methods were clearly designed to test his patience and dedication.
  • Shout-Out: After finally cracking and letting the insults fly, Chandler says the name Hornswoggle is like a character from Fraggle Rock.
  • Side Bet: Ross bets Chandler fifty dollars that he won't be able to keep his Resolution further than a week.
  • Smart Ball: Joey grabs it by quickly arranging for Chandler and Monica to be able to kiss at the stroke of midnight without revealing their relationship. He convinces Ross and Phoebe to share a kiss and Rachel to share one with him, each time saying something that he knows they will be receptive to.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After his leather pants disaster, Ross is depressed and feels his new year is already ruined. The other friends lift his spirits by showing him that Ben liked his leather pants and drew a picture of him as a cowboy.
  • Verbal Backspace: Ross' first attempt at a resolution is "No divorces in 1999!" When it's pointed out that his divorce with Emily isn't quite finalized yet, he says in the same intonation "Just the one divorce in 1999!"
  • Worth It: After giving Ross $50, Chandler lets various insults fly and then immediately feels relaxed.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: "And Ross, phone call for you today — Tom Jones, he wants his pants back."