Friends (season 3)

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Friends (season 3)
Friends Season 3 DVD.jpg
Friends season 3 DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes25
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 19, 1996 (1996-09-19) –
May 15, 1997 (1997-05-15)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of Friends episodes

The third season of Friends, an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, premiered on NBC on September 19, 1996. Friends was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The season contains 25 episodes and concluded airing on May 15, 1997.


Collider ranked the season #3 on their ranking of the ten Friends seasons, and picked "The One with the Morning After" as its best episode.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

(In particular, Introduced in season 3 or Only in season 3)


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
491"The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy"Gail MancusoMichael Curtis & Gregory S. MalinsSeptember 19, 1996 (1996-09-19)46525126.8[2]
Ross reveals his sexual fantasy to Rachel, which involves her being dressed up in Princess Leia's bikini from Return of the Jedi. Monica suffers from insomnia after her breakup with Richard. And Chandler, willingly back together with Janice, wants Joey to bond with her.
502"The One Where No One's Ready"Gail MancusoIra UngerleiderSeptember 26, 1996 (1996-09-26)46525226.7[2]
Ross is in a hurry to get everyone dressed for an important banquet at the museum but everyone keeps delaying. Monica freaks when she hears an answer phone message from Richard, and Joey and Chandler fight over a chair.
513"The One with the Jam"Kevin S. BrightWil CalhounOctober 3, 1996 (1996-10-03)46525325.2[2]

Phoebe is stalked by a man who mistakes her for her twin sister. Ross and Rachel give Chandler "boyfriend" lessons. Monica uses her free time after breaking up with Richard to make jam and considers artificial insemination through a sperm bank. (Matt LeBlanc dislocated his shoulder in the last episode, so his arm is in a sling for this episode. However, this accident was written into the plot as Joey jumping on the bed and falling off.)

Guest star: David Arquette
524"The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel"Steve ZuckermanAlexa JungeOctober 10, 1996 (1996-10-10)46525426.1[2]
Phoebe pretends to be Joey's agent and has some success in getting him auditions, however the initial rush soon wears off when she is forced to tell him why he isn't getting any parts. Ross is upset when Ben brings a Barbie doll on his weekend visit. Chandler is advancing in his relationship with Janice and, realizing that he has a fear of commitment, goes to the girls for advice.
535"The One with Frank Jr."Steve ZuckermanShana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott SilveriOctober 17, 1996 (1996-10-17)46525523.3[2]
Phoebe's half-brother visits and she offers to give him a massage, but they have trouble bonding. Joey builds an entertainment unit that is too big. Ross is challenged to name the five celebrities he'd like to sleep with most and tries to flirt with Isabella Rossellini. After Joey bets Chandler that he can fit inside the entertainment unit, Chandler locks him in. Guest star Isabella Rossellini.
546"The One with the Flashback"Peter BonerzDavid Crane & Marta KauffmanOctober 31, 1996 (1996-10-31)46525623.3[2]
When Janice asks the gang if any of them have ever slept together, the friends flash back to a time three years before, where some dark secrets are revealed among each other, that Ross kissed Phoebe, Joey got naked in front of Monica, and Chandler and Rachel both wanted to have sex with each other (but didn't).
557"The One with the Race Car Bed"Gail MancusoSeth KurlandNovember 7, 1996 (1996-11-07)46525727.4[2]
When Monica buys a new bed from Janice's ex-husband's store, the wrong one is delivered. When she and Joey try to take it back, Joey sees Janice and him, kissing in his office. Rachel tries to have her father and Ross bond by going to dinner together, but things do not work out. Rachel sets up a brunch the day after but ultimately, they bond by criticizing her. Joey gets a job teaching a soap opera acting class. A student gets a job offer for a part that Joey had been going for.
568"The One with the Giant Poking Device"Gail MancusoAdam ChaseNovember 14, 1996 (1996-11-14)46525828.7[2]
When Chandler is about to buy Janice an expensive gift, Joey tells him that he saw Janice kissing her ex-husband. Monica accidentally bumps baby Ben's head into a post. Phoebe is worried that her going to the dentist will cause someone to die, as it has happened before. On returning, she sees that Ugly Naked Guy is unmoving in his apartment. In order to put her fears to rest, the others fashion a long stick made out of chopsticks to poke him with, to which he wakes up.
579"The One with the Football"Kevin S. BrightIra UngerleiderNovember 21, 1996 (1996-11-21)46525929.3[2]
Emotions become the feast of the day when the gang plays a game of touch football on Thanksgiving when Ross and Monica's competitive streaks flare up, while Joey and Chandler argue over who gets to date a Dutch model who's watching the game.
5810"The One Where Rachel Quits"Terry HughesGregory S. Malins & Michael CurtisDecember 12, 1996 (1996-12-12)46526025.1[2]
Wanting to pursue a career in fashion, Rachel decides to quit her job as a waitress. Phoebe tries to help Joey when he gets a job selling Christmas trees. Ross accidentally breaks a girl's leg, and attempts to make it up to her by helping her sell cookies to win a trip to Space Camp.
5911"The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister"Terry HughesAlexa JungeJanuary 9, 1997 (1997-01-09)46526129.8[2]
Rachel is frustrated with her new job at Fortunata Fashions, where she spends all day making coffee. While venting her frustration to Monica, Rachel bumps into Mark, an employee of Bloomingdale's who knows of a vacancy in his department. Mark gets Rachel the job, but Ross suspects Mark of ulterior motives. A drunken Chandler fools around with one of Joey's sisters, but later can't remember which one, much to Joey's anger.
6012"The One with All the Jealousy"Robby BensonDoty AbramsJanuary 16, 1997 (1997-01-16)46526229.6[2]
Ross is jealous of Mark, thinking he is trying to steal Rachel away, so Ross showers Rachel with romantic gifts at her workplace. Joey's numerous lies on his resume catch up to him, as he is forced to teach a dance to an entire Broadway cast, unsuccessfully. Monica dates Julio, a busboy from the diner who writes a poem for her called 'The Empty Vase'. Touched, Monica sleeps with him but is then told by Phoebe that the poem refers to her, and uses an a capella group to get revenge.
6113"The One Where Monica and Richard Are Just Friends"Robby BensonMichael BorkowJanuary 30, 1997 (1997-01-30)46526528.0[2]
Monica's willpower is tested when she runs into Richard at the video store. The two decide to be just 'friends', but quickly start sleeping together again. Joey agrees to read Little Women while Rachel agrees to read The Shining. Phoebe's athletic new boyfriend keeps accidentally exposing himself through his shorts.
6214"The One with Phoebe's Ex-Partner"Robby BensonWil CalhounFebruary 6, 1997 (1997-02-06)46526628.9[2]
Phoebe is reunited with her former singing partner (Elizabeth Daily), who thinks "Smelly Cat" has hit potential. Chandler dates a woman with a prosthetic leg (Sherilyn Fenn). Ross, who is getting sick of Rachel's long work hours, is happy to learn that Mark is leaving Bloomingdale's, just to discover Rachel is still friends with him and are planning to attend a fashion seminar together. In order to make sure Mark can't go, Ross accompanies her instead but then quickly falls asleep which causes a fresh argument and leaves the relationship on very rocky ground.
6315"The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break"James BurrowsMichael BorkowFebruary 13, 1997 (1997-02-13)46526327.3[2]
Chandler and Joey ponder a possible threesome with Chloe (Angela Featherstone), whom they both are attracted to. Phoebe dates an eastern Europe diplomat who needs an interpreter to communicate with her. Ross and Rachel's relationship continues to deteriorate when she is forced to work on their one-year anniversary. Ross goes to her office to spend time with her, but she has too much work on. This leads to a bitter fight and Rachel says that they need to go on a break from each other. Upset, Ross goes drinking with Joey and Chandler and ends up kissing Chloe.
6416"The One with the Morning After"James BurrowsDavid Crane & Marta KauffmanFebruary 20, 1997 (1997-02-20)46526428.3[2]
Ross wakes up the next morning full of regret after sleeping with Chloe, and agrees to get back together with Rachel, who later discovers the truth. The two go back to her apartment and have a huge fight, as the other four friends listen in from Monica's bedroom. Ross is desperate for forgiveness, but Rachel refuses and ends the relationship, leaving both of them devastated.
6517"The One Without the Ski Trip"Sam SimonShana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott SilveriMarch 6, 1997 (1997-03-06)46526725.8[2]
Ross and Rachel are finding it difficult to be near each other, which means that the friends divide their time between Ross and Rachel. Driving off for a ski-trip with Rachel, their car breaks down, forcing them to call Ross for rescue which Rachel refused to do due to her anger. Upset by all this, Chandler uses it as an excuse to start smoking again. When Ross arrives, Rachel viciously mocks him, which leads Ross to saying that Monica and Joey agrees with him that they were on a break, aka a break-up, and that she is being petty. That leads to a huge fight between everyone, ending with Phoebe begging for the two of them to find some way to be around each other as the bitterness is tearing them all apart.
6618"The One with the Hypnosis Tape"Robby BensonSeth KurlandMarch 13, 1997 (1997-03-13)46526928.1[2]
A desperate Monica agrees to a date with one of her restaurant customers, who turns out to be very well off Pete (played by Jon Favreau). Phoebe freaks when she finds out that her 18-year-old brother is planning to wed a woman more than twice his age (Debra Jo Rupp). Chandler uses a hypnosis tape to quit smoking, but it is meant for women, which causes him to act feminine.
6719"The One with the Tiny T-Shirt"Terry HughesAdam ChaseMarch 27, 1997 (1997-03-27)46526823.7[2]
Rachel goes on her first date after splitting from Ross, with Mark from her office. Joey develops a crush on Kate (Dina Meyer), his costar in his new play. Monica continues to date Pete, even though she is still not attracted to him.
6820"The One with the Dollhouse"Terry HughesWil CalhounApril 10, 1997 (1997-04-10)46527024.4[2]
Rachel regrets making a date for Chandler and her boss, Joanna. Joey's interest in Kate intensifies after they sleep together. Monica's aunt dies, leaving her a beautiful antique dollhouse, but it's too elaborate to play with, so Phoebe makes her own dollhouse, but it meets a sad end.
6921"The One with a Chick and a Duck"Michael LembeckChris BrownApril 17, 1997 (1997-04-17)46527123.2[2]
Monica considers a dream job in Pete's new restaurant, but Phoebe senses there is more to the deal. Joey and Chandler adopt a baby chick and a duck. Ross misses a panel for the Discovery Channel to help Rachel, who may have a broken rib, and she is amazed (and impressed) when she learns what he gave up to help her.
7022"The One with the Screamer"Peter BonerzShana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott SilveriApril 24, 1997 (1997-04-24)46527222.6[2]
Rachel dates a man (Ben Stiller) who turns out to be an aggressive, testosterone-fuelled bully who frightens and intimidates anyone who irritates him by viciously screaming at them, but for a long time the only one who is subjected to this is Ross and everyone thinks he's just jealous because the guy's dating Rachel. Joey and Kate break up when she gets a big job in Los Angeles and takes it. Phoebe is on hold for days with a company she needs to talk to before her phone warranty expires.
7123"The One with Ross's Thing"Shelley JensenTed Cohen & Andrew ReichMay 1, 1997 (1997-05-01)46527424.2[2]
Afflicted with a mysterious skin condition on his back, Ross seeks advice from Phoebe's herbalist (Kevin McDonald). Phoebe can't choose between dating a fireman or a Kindergarten teacher and attempts to date both, which is a problem when the fireman turns out to also be smart and the teacher turns out to be a hunk. Monica can't decide what to do about Pete when she thinks he is going to break up with her because Pete says when he gets back from Atlanta they "need to talk". To Monica's mix of relief and shock, Pete wants to tell her that he's now going to pursue full-time his dream of being an Ultimate Fighting champion.
7224"The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion"Robby BensonStory by : Pang-Ni Landrum & Mark Kunerth
Teleplay by : Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Scott Silveri
May 8, 1997 (1997-05-08)46527323.1[2]

Monica tries to be supportive of Pete's UFC dreams, but the brutal losing beatings he sustains leads her to tell him she can't stay with him if he keeps going because he's going to end up crippled or dead. Chandler has a problem when his new boss keeps slapping him on the butt. Phoebe sets Ross up on a date with a gorgeous woman who used to be bald, Bonnie (Christine Taylor).

This episode features a cameo skit by Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.
7325"The One at the Beach"Pamela FrymanStory by : Pang-Ni Landrum & Mark Kunerth
Teleplay by : Adam Chase
May 15, 1997 (1997-05-15)46527528.8[2]
Chandler spends the whole episode trying to prove to Monica that he's 'boyfriend material'. The gang goes to the beach. In search of a woman who was friends with her mom, Phoebe meets the woman (who is also named Phoebe) with links to her family's past, who may know more than she's letting on. Ross discovers that Rachel still loves him, and must choose between sex-crazy, but newly bald (thanks to some subversive advice from Rachel) Bonnie, and Rachel, the love of his life.


No. in
No. in
Episode Air date Time slot (EST) Rating/Share (18–49) Viewers (m) Weekly
49 1 "The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy" September 19, 1996 (1996-09-19) Thursdays
8:00 p.m.
16.7/31 26.8 3 [3]
50 2 "The One Where No One's Ready" September 26, 1996 (1996-09-26) 18.4/31 26.7 4
51 3 "The One with the Jam" October 3, 1996 (1996-10-03) 17.3/30 25.2 6
52 4 "The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel" October 10, 1996 (1996-10-10) 18.0/30 26.1 5
53 5 "The One with Frank Jr." October 17, 1996 (1996-10-17) 16.1/26 23.3 5
54 6 "The One with the Flashback" October 31, 1996 (1996-10-31) 16.0/28 23.3 5
55 7 "The One with the Race Car Bed" November 7, 1996 (1996-11-07) 18.0/29 27.4 4
56 8 "The One with the Giant Poking Device" November 14, 1996 (1996-11-14) 18.8/30 28.7 4
57 9 "The One with the Football" November 21, 1996 (1996-11-21) 19.0/30 29.3 5
58 10 "The One Where Rachel Quits" December 12, 1996 (1996-12-12) 16.1/27 25.1 4
59 11 "The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister" January 9, 1997 (1997-01-09) 19.4/29 29.8 2
60 12 "The One with All the Jealousy" January 16, 1997 (1997-01-16) 19.4/29 29.6 4
61 13 "The One Where Monica and Richard Are Just Friends" January 30, 1997 (1997-01-30) 18.9/29 28.0 3
62 14 "The One with Phoebe's Ex-Partner" February 6, 1997 (1997-02-06) 19.0/30 28.9 3
63 15 "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break" February 13, 1997 (1997-02-13) 18.3/29 27.3 4
64 16 "The One with The Morning After" February 20, 1997 (1997-02-20) 18.6/29 28.3 5
65 17 "The One Without the Ski Trip" March 6, 1997 (1997-03-06) 17.5/29 25.8 2
66 18 "The One with the Hypnosis Tape" March 13, 1997 (1997-03-13) 18.7/30 28.1 2
67 19 "The One with the Tiny T-Shirt" March 27, 1997 (1997-03-27) 16.0/28 23.7 3
68 20 "The One with the Dollhouse" April 10, 1997 (1997-04-10) 16.3/28 24.4 4
69 21 "The One with a Chick And a Duck" April 17, 1997 (1997-04-17) 16.0/28 23.2 3
70 22 "The One with the Screamer" April 24, 1997 (1997-04-24) 15.5/27 22.6 5
71 23 "The One with Ross's Thing" May 1, 1997 (1997-05-01) 16.6/29 24.2 5
72 24 "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion" May 8, 1997 (1997-05-08) 15.6/27 23.1 4
73 25 "The One at the Beach" May 15, 1997 (1997-05-15) 16.5/29 28.8 4

Awards and nominations[edit]

Association Category Recipient Results
8th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Television Comedy Series N/A Nominated
55th Annual Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical N/A Nominated
9th Annual Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Television Actress Jennifer Aniston Nominated
Courteney Cox Nominated
1st Annual Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Comedy Series N/A Nominated
Best Direction in a Series Gail Mancusco
Kevin S. Bright
Steve Zuckerman
Peter Bonerz
Terry Hughes
Robby Benson
James Burrows
Sam Simon
Michael Lembeck
Shelley Jensen
Pamela Fryman
Best Direction in a Comedy Series Nominated
Best Writing in a Series Michael Curtis
Gregory S. Malins
Ira Ungerleider
Wil Calhoun
Alexa Junge
Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Scott Silveri
David Crane
Marta Kauffman
Seth Kurland
Adam Chase
Doty Abrams
Michael Borkow
Chris Brown
Ted Cohen
Andrew Reich
Best Writing in a Comedy Series Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Series Matthew Perry Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Series Lisa Kudrow Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Best Ensemble in a Series Jennifer Aniston
Courteney Cox
Lisa Kudrow
Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry
David Schwimmer
Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
for episode "The One with the Metaphorical Tunnel" + "The One with the Flashback"
Lisa Kudrow Nominated


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Friends Nielsen Ratings Archive – Season Three". Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  3. ^ "Nielsen Ratings". Retrieved November 2, 2016. External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]