Friends (season 4)

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Friends season 4
Friends Season 4 DVD.jpg
Friends season 4 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 24
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 25, 1997 (1997-09-25) – May 7, 1998 (1998-05-07)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 July 15, 2003 (2003-07-15)
Region 2 May 29, 2000 (2000-05-29)
Region 4 October 4, 2006 (2006-10-04)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of Friends episodes

The fourth season of Friends, an American situation comedy created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, premiered on NBC on September 25, 1997. Friends was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The season contains 24 episodes and concluded airing on May 7, 1998. It was one of three seasons included on TV Guide '​s list of the Top 100 TV Seasons.

Season synopsis[edit]

In the Season 3 finale, Ross enters a room greeting either Rachel or Bonnie. In the Season 4 premiere, it is revealed that he was actually saying "hi" to both of them, as he finds Rachel spreading Bonnie's bald head with lotion. He decides to break up with Bonnie to get back together with Rachel, who writes a letter to him. Rachel writes that she is willing to reconcile with Ross only on condition that he accepts full responsibility for their previous break-up.

However, Ross is too tired to read a 36-page letter in the early hours of dawn ("18 pages – front and back"), but his desire to get back with Rachel is such that he accepts the letter without realizing what he has agreed to. When he does actually read the letter, he changes his mind. Thanks to Rachel's continuous reference to the letter after they have sex, they break up again.

Meanwhile, Chandler and Joey are with Monica at the beach, where she gets stung by a jellyfish. Joey, who saw a feature on the Discovery Channel, suggests peeing on the sting, but gets stage fright, so Chandler has to do it.

Having learnt the truth about her birth mother, Phoebe is extremely disappointed about her and the fact that she never tried to find out about her. Phoebe storms off, never wanting to see her again. After tracking her down, however, Abbott starts off an uncomfortable but moderately friendly rapport with her daughter (albeit with some initial struggling). During this season, Lisa Kudrow (who plays Phoebe) becomes pregnant. This is written in the show as her surrogate pregnancy which she goes through for her brother and his new wife (who also get married in this season but the audience meet for the first time in the third season).

Joey starts dating an actress named Kathy, whom Chandler has a crush on. However, Chandler and Kathy kiss while she still sees Joey. Uncomfortable about Joey finding out about her and Chandler, Kathy breaks up with Joey, but he still finds out about the kiss from Chandler, whose guilt is so great that he buys new furniture for their empty apartment. He becomes so angry that he starts sending off the stuff Chandler bought, until Chandler resolves the issue by spending Thanksgiving in a box (The One With Chandler In A Box). Thanksgiving this year is awkward for Monica, who invites Dr. Timothy Burke, Richard's son, and kisses him, a brief lip contact which reminds her of her ex-boyfriend, but Joey and Chandler make up on this day. Chandler starts dating Kathy, but breaks up with her after she sleeps with her fellow actor, whom Chandler sees having simulated sex with his girlfriend in a play.

Monica starts a catering business with Phoebe, but after reviewing Alessandro's restaurant and accepting a job as head-chef there, she and Phoebe break the catering business up. Her new rapport with her fellow workers is quite difficult at first, but following Chandler's suggestion, she fires Joey in a set-up and gains control of the kitchens. She and Rachel also lose their apartment to Joey and Chandler in this season (as a bet with a quiz with personal questions about each other). To make matters worse for Rachel, her boss Joanna dies, and as a result she gets shunted in Personal Shopping at Bloomingdale's, where she meets Joshua, whom she has a crush on. After several incidents which prevent Rachel from expressing her true feelings to him (including an unplanned opera visit which ends up with Rachel introducing Ross to his new girlfriend, Emily), she starts dating Joshua.

However, Ross and Emily, who are crazy over each other, move on quite fast, and agree to get married in London. This sets off Rachel in a competition with Ross, and proposes to Joshua, who is still in the process of getting his divorce final. She scares him off so much that he breaks up with her. Ross sends out the invitations for his London wedding (The One With The Invitation), and naturally he invites all of his friends, but struggles to invite Rachel after Emily's remarks. He decides to invite her anyway, but she is too worried of being highly uncomfortable seeing Ross marry another woman, so she RSVPs as not coming.

The friends all go to London (The One With Ross' Wedding). Monica helps Ross with the preparations for his wedding, but between the torn-down chapel, the hurried guests menu and other stuff, she almost puts the wedding off by suggesting to Emily to postpone the ceremony; she then helps Ross solve the problem. The rehearsal dinner is a disaster for everyone: Ross can't get his parents and new in-laws to settle their arguments about payments for the wedding, Chandler can't deliver the toast, Joey gets homesick (until he meets one of Emily's bridesmaids, Felicity), and between her mother's cynical remarks and a drunken guest mistaking her for Ross' mother, Monica falls in a depression about being single. In USA, Phoebe, who can't travel by plane because she in her third trimester of pregnancy, has Rachel staying with her. Phoebe helps her re-discover her feelings for Ross.

Ross' wedding day (and the second part of the season finale) contains a few surprises: Ross almost catches Monica and Chandler, who slept together; Rachel rushes off to London to tell Ross she still loves him (only to find him kissing his wife-to-be and realize that Ross is happy to marry Emily); and Ross has all his friends as guests to his wedding. The ceremony starts, Emily says her vows, and Ross starts saying his. But he stops mid-stream when he calls Emily "Rachel", putting an end to the fourth season.

Cast and characters[edit]

(In particular, Characters of Friends#Introduced in season 4 or #Only in season 4)

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
74 1 "The One with the Jellyfish" Shelley Jensen Wil Calhoun September 25, 1997 (1997-09-25) 466601 29.4[1]
During a trip to the beach, Monica, accompanied by Joey and Chandler, is stung by a jellyfish; the only remedy they can think of is for someone to pee on the bite. Chandler complies. Ross and Rachel get back together until Ross cannot stand Rachel thinking he has taken full responsibility for the flaws in their relationship. Phoebe gets to know her birth mother.
75 2 "The One with the Cat" Shelley Jensen Jill Condon & Amy Toomin October 2, 1997 (1997-10-02) 466602 25.5[1]
A cat enters the coffee house and sniffs around Phoebe's guitar case. When Phoebe picks the cat up, she believes that her dead mother's spirit is inside it. Joey tries to sell his entertainment unit and when showing a customer that it is big enough to fit a grown man, the customer puts a hockey stick through the handles, locking Joey in and steals everything in his and Chandler's apartment. Monica dates Chip Matthews, the most popular boy from her high school, but dumps him after she realizes he is an immature loser who still lives with his parents.
76 3 "The One with the Cuffs" Peter Bonerz Seth Kurland October 9, 1997 (1997-10-09) 466603 24.0[1]
Chandler dates Rachel's boss, Joanna, again and finally breaks up with her after she handcuffs him to her office chair. Rachel then comes to Chandler's rescue, with doubts as she realizes she could get fired for going into her boss's office. Monica caters a party for her mother, but while preparing the food she loses a fake finger nail in the quiche, ruining her plans to impress her critical mother.
77 4 "The One with the Ballroom Dancing" Gail Mancuso Ted Cohen & Andrew Reich October 16, 1997 (1997-10-16) 466604 24.3[1]
Joey helps the apartment supervisor Treegor with his ballroom dancing skills in order to help Monica and Rachel keep their illegal apartment. Chandler wants to quit the gym, but can't because of the attractive staff. Ross, originally to help Chandler quit, ends up with a gym membership when they leave. Their later plan is to cut the gym from their financial source, so they attempt to quit their bank but because of the attractive female staff there, they end up with a joint-checking account. Phoebe, on the other hand, has a crush on her client but is forbidden to do so because he is her client. This led to her being fired.
78 5 "The One with Joey's New Girlfriend" Gail Mancuso Gregory S. Malins & Michael Curtis October 30, 1997 (1997-10-30) 466605 24.4[1]
Chandler starts to fall in love with Joey's new girlfriend, Kathy, after he flirted with her in the coffee house, unaware Joey was dating her. Rachel becomes jealous of Ross's relationship and ends up dating a college student, who turns out to be stealing from her. Phoebe's voice becomes stuffy after she catches a cold, which gives her a new sexy voice for singing and finds that she likes her "new" singing voice better.
79 6 "The One with the Dirty Girl" Shelley Jensen Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott Silveri November 6, 1997 (1997-11-06) 466606 25.7[1]
Ross's new girlfriend (Rebecca Romijn) seems nearly perfect until he discovers that her apartment is incredibly dirty. Chandler buys Kathy a first edition of her favorite children's book for her birthday. He tries to help Joey (then dating Kathy) buy a present that is comparable to his own, but Joey only ends up purchasing something very meaningless and inexpensive. Phoebe and Monica decide to become partners in a catering business.
80 7 "The One Where Chandler Crosses the Line" Kevin S. Bright Adam Chase November 13, 1997 (1997-11-13) 466607 26.4[1]
Chandler must decide between the girl of his dreams, Kathy, and his best friend Joey when he and Kathy share a secret and secluded passionate kiss. Chandler, feeling guilty about his kiss with Kathy, buys new furniture and appliances for his and Joey's apartment to fill in the empty spaces left after the robbery. When Joey finds out about the kiss, he attempts to punish Chandler for five years. Ross starts playing the keyboard again for the first time since college and reinvents his musical art (or as Ross calls them, "wordless sound poems").
81 8 "The One with Chandler in a Box" Peter Bonerz Michael Borkow November 20, 1997 (1997-11-20) 466608 26.8[1]
Chandler agrees to spend Thanksgiving in a shipping crate as a punishment from Joey for kissing Kathy. After Monica accidentally gets ice in her eye, she visits her new eye doctor, who turns out to be out of town, and is seen by Richard's son (Michael Vartan). She then invites him over for Thanksgiving, which the others do not approve of. After Kathy visits and breaks up with Chandler due to not wanting to break up a friendship, Joey forgives Chandler and tells him to go after her before she leaves.
82 9 "The One Where They're Going to Party!" Peter Bonerz Ted Cohen & Andrew Reich December 11, 1997 (1997-12-11) 466609 23.9[1]
Chandler and Ross's friend "Gandalf" is planning to come to town. They are very excited until he cancels. When they're forced to try to have a fun time on their own, they're forced to realize that they're becoming older and no longer enjoy the party scene. Monica has to choose between a head chef job and catering with Phoebe, and helps Phoebe with ideas for a business of her own. Rachel gets "hired" as the assistant buyer at Bloomingdale's but doesn't get the promotion because her supervisor dies before she turns in the HR paperwork.
83 10 "The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie" Gary Halvorson Scott Silveri December 18, 1997 (1997-12-18) 466612 23.2[1]
Ross must decide whether to continue dating a girl he must travel two-and-a-half hours to see or a girl much closer to home but much less fun. Chandler tries to set Rachel up with a guy from his office, but couldn't succeed. Phoebe tries to write the perfect Christmas song about her friends. Monica starts her new job as head chef at a restaurant, but since her unflattering newspaper review resulted in the previous head chef being fired, the kitchen staff hate her and torment her constantly. On Chandler's suggestion, she hires Joey as a waiter with the purpose of firing him to intimidate the other staff into obeying her; the plan falls through initially after Joey receives good tips from patrons, and he is reluctant to lose his job. However, after the constant bullying almost reduces Monica to tears, Joey steps up and allows her to fire him, humbling the staff.
84 11 "The One with Phoebe's Uterus" David Steinberg Seth Kurland January 8, 1998 (1998-01-08) 466610 23.7[1]

Phoebe doesn't know what to do when Frank Jr. visits with his new wife and asks her to carry their child. She visits her birth mother who tells her it isn't a good idea. To support this, she gives Phoebe a puppy, but only for three days to prove it will be hard to give it up. Phoebe decides she will carry their baby because when it's over, they will be so happy, making Phoebe feel good. Meanwhile, Monica teaches Chandler the secrets of a woman's seven erogenous zones, for which Kathy is extremely grateful.

Note: In "The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs," Chandler doesn't like dogs. However, he is seen in this episode with a dog.
85 12 "The One with the Embryos" Kevin S. Bright Jill Condon & Amy Toomin January 15, 1998 (1998-01-15) 466611 27.1[1]
Phoebe's uterus is examined for implantation of the embryos. A seemingly harmless game between the guys and the girls escalates into a full-blown contest to see which pair knows more personal data about the other. The guys end up betting the chick and the duck, and the girls end up betting their apartment. When the guys win, Rachel tells them that it was just a game but the guys continue to move in. At the end, Phoebe tells everyone she's pregnant.
86 13 "The One with Rachel's Crush" Dana DeVally Piazza Shana Goldberg-Meehan January 29, 1998 (1998-01-29) 466613 25.3[1]
As the guys and the girls switched apartments, Monica told the guys they have to be the hosts only for her to want to become the hostess again. Chandler breaks up with Kathy after seeing her having simulated sex on stage with another man. Kathy tells Chandler that it is just her job, and tells Chandler to call her when he can grow up. It is later revealed that Kathy wasn't sleeping with him, but starts to after her and Chandler's dispute, causing Chandler to say, that their "second fight ... is going to be A BIG ONE!" Rachel has a crush on Joshua, a handsome customer and even ponders asking him out.
87 14 "The One with Joey's Dirty Day" Peter Bonerz Wil Calhoun February 5, 1998 (1998-02-05) 466614 25.1[1]
Joey has to go to Charlton Heston's new movie but smells awful because of a three day fishing trip with his father previously and never had time to shower. He breaks into Heston's dressing room and uses his shower. Rachel sets Ross up with her boss's niece, Emily (Helen Baxendale) so that she can go to Joshua's invested nightclub. Chandler can't get over Kathy, and remains in his barcalounger, in his sweat pants.
88 15 "The One with All the Rugby" James Burrows Story: Ted Cohen & Andrew Reich
Teleplay: Wil Calhoun
February 26, 1998 (1998-02-26) 466617 24.4[1]
Ross plays rugby with some of Emily's English friends and ends up in a lot of pain afterward. Chandler runs into Janice and tells her that his company is transferring him to Yemen in an effort to escape reuniting with her. Monica obsesses over a light switch that doesn't seem to control anything, and even cuts the wall open herself to follow the wire after an electrician, the super and the electrical plans to the building prove unfruitful. It is revealed that it controls the television in Joey and Chandler's apartment.
89 16 "The One with the Fake Party" Michael Lembeck Story: Alicia Sky Varinaitis
Teleplay: Scott Silveri & Shana Goldberg-Meehan
March 19, 1998 (1998-03-19) 466615 23.1[1]
Rachel throws a fake party for Emily, who's returning to London, just so she can see Joshua outside of work. The baby in Phoebe's womb is craving meat, which is putting a strain on Phoebe's vegetarianism. Just as Rachel is about to kiss Joshua, Phoebe's baby kicks.
90 17 "The One with the Free Porn" Michael Lembeck Story: Mark Kunerth
Teleplay: Richard Goodman
March 26, 1998 (1998-03-26) 466616 23.2[1]
Chandler and Joey discover that they're getting a free porn channel on their TV. Ross tells Emily how he really feels about her. After she has left for England, he flies to London to see her, unaware that she's already on her way back to New York to see him. The doctor tells Phoebe that she is going to have triplets.
91 18 "The One with Rachel's New Dress" Gail Mancuso Story: Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen
Teleplay: Jill Condon & Amy Toomin
April 2, 1998 (1998-04-02) 466620 21.7[1]
Joshua invites Rachel to his parents' house, who are said to be out of town. She changes into a more revealing dress and Joshua and his parents walk in, much to her embarrassment. Phoebe is offered the chance to name one of the triplets and chooses 'Chandler' over 'Joey' when Chandler realizes he has a horrible name and wants to change it, much to Phoebe's disapproval. When Phoebe leaves, it is revealed that it was just a plan by Chandler to get her to choose his name. Ross suspects Emily of having an affair with Carol's wife Susan.
92 19 "The One with All the Haste" Kevin S. Bright Scott Silveri & Wil Calhoun April 9, 1998 (1998-04-09) 466618 21.8[1]
Monica and Rachel have Knicks season tickets and offer them to the guys if they give them their apartment back. Chandler doesn't trade but Joey wants to. They play a game with Phoebe as the judge on picking the highest card out of a deck of cards and the winner takes it all. The guys win, so they set off to watch the game. While Chandler and Joey are at the Knicks game, Monica and Rachel switch the apartments back, despite the guys winning the tickets and the right to keep the apartment fair and square. Ross proposes to Emily and she accepts.
93 20 "The One with All the Wedding Dresses" Gail Mancuso Story: Adam Chase
Teleplay: Gregory S. Malins & Michael Curtis
April 16, 1998 (1998-04-16) 466621 21.9[1]
Ross asks Monica to pick up Emily's wedding dress and instead Monica tries the dress on and keeps it. Phoebe then comes to Monica's in a wedding dress. Because of Ross's proposal to Emily, Rachel, feeling slightly jealous, tries to talk Joshua into marriage. He doesn't accept, and Rachel becomes dejected. Later when Rachel puts on a wedding dress at Monica's (with Phoebe), the three of them hear a knock on the door thinking it's Chandler. When Rachel opens it, she finds out it's actually Joshua, who gets freaked out and leaves, thereby ending the relationship. Chandler takes Joey to a sleep clinic because he starts snoring all the time and meets a girl named Marjorie (Christina Moore) who talks in her sleep. She later is in bed with Chandler and screams really loudly and wakes up Joey.
94 21 "The One with the Invitation" Peter Bonerz Seth Kurland April 23, 1998 (1998-04-23) 466619 21.5[1]
Ross and Emily are sending their wedding invitations; Emily doesn't think it's a good idea to invite Rachel, as she believes it would be too "awkward" for him, but Ross invites her anyway. After scenes shown from previous episodes of her and Ross' relationship, Rachel decides not to go, and instead keep Phoebe company in case she goes through labor.
95 22 "The One with the Worst Best Man Ever" Peter Bonerz Story: Seth Kurland
Teleplay: Gregory S. Malins & Michael Curtis
April 30, 1998 (1998-04-30) 466622 23.2[1]
Ross chooses Chandler as his best man, but picks Joey instead when Chandler says Ross won't be his best man. Joey then loses Ross's ring after a bachelor party and is convinced the stripper stole it after she slept with Joey. They later find out that the duck swallowed the ring. The girls give Phoebe a baby shower.
96/97 23/24 "The One with Ross's Wedding" Kevin S. Bright Part 1: Michael Borkow
Part 2: Teleplay: Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott Silveri
Story: Jill Condon & Amy Toomin
May 7, 1998 (1998-05-07)[a] 466623/466624 31.6[1]
All the friends go to London, except for Phoebe, who's pregnant and Rachel, who thinks it will be too painful to see Ross get married, and tells Ross she has to work. The building where Ross and Emily schedule to get married has been torn down a few days early, but they decide to marry there anyway. Richard Branson cameos as a souvenir stand salesman, and Sarah, Duchess of York, appears in a video with Joey. Rachel decides to go to Ross's wedding after all, to say she still loves him. Emily's parents try to fool Ross's parents with the wedding bill, paying to remodel their house as well. Chandler and Monica sleep together after a drunk guy thinks she is Ross's mother. At the altar while Ross is saying his nuptials, he makes a big mistake and says Rachel's name instead of Emily's.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ These episodes originally aired as a single double-length episode but are sometimes split into two episodes for syndication, reruns and DVD presentation.

Awards and Nominations[edit]

50th Primetime Emmy Awards

  • Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Lisa Kudrow) (Episode: "The One with Ross's Wedding")

14th TCA Awards

  • Nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy (Courteney Cox)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Friends Nielsen Ratings Archive - Season Four". Newmusicandmore.tripod.com. Retrieved 2014-07-31.