About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1990s Christmas: Friends

I just read an article about how this fall's network line-up of new shows contains several sitcoms still trying to recapture the formula for success defined by Friends.  I'm glad Amy wanted to write about one of the holiday episodes from this classic 1990s sitcom.  Most people remember the episode in which Ross dresses as a giant armadillo in an attempt to inspire his young son to celebrate Hanukkah.  That scene is from the episode 'The One with the Holiday Armadillo' from 2000.  But do you remember the episode below?  I sure do.  Our guest blogger today is Amy Stewart, a fan of Christmas TV.  She also keeps a blog about knitting, www.iheartknitting.comCheck it out.  Thanks again to Amy for sharing her thoughts about this episode today.

Friends ran from 1994-2004
Friends will always hold a special place in my heart.  I think that’s true for many people out there, but it is extra-true for me.  Friends began in 1994.  The first episode aired during one of my first weeks at college.  I watched Rachel leave her family, her home, her security and forge on with a new life.  I felt that I was doing the same.  The show became a weekly routine for me, and became a big part of my life. 

Though the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends got more publicity, my favorite holiday episode has to be 'The One With The Routine,' which aired in December of 1999.

It's Christmas time on Friends
The episode involved the entire gang, but centered mostly around Monica and Ross’s love for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  The two have the opportunity to go to a taping of the show, but find that it’s more difficult to get on camera than it seems.  When they arrive at the studio, they accost a less-than-enthusiastic stage hand with their enthusiasm for the show, and get on his bad side from the start.

Siblings Monica and Ross at the taping for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
Through the episode, Monica and Ross determine that they’ll have a better chance of getting on screen if they can just get on the platform.  Ross suggests that they perform ‘The Routine,’ a dance number the brother and sister performed in Middle School.  Ross encourages Monica by reminding her that ‘The Routine’ won first place in the Brother/Sister category.

The two perform ‘The Routine’ with gusto and dorkiness, a quality that I loved about Monica throughout the series. 

The Gellers busting a move
They do impress the bitchy stage hand, but not in the way that they had hoped.  In the end, he encourages them to dance ‘The Routine’ on the platforms, so that it can go to the bloopers reel.  You can watch ‘The Routine’ at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVqmTZJrRik.

Phoebe, Chandler and Rachel
An episode of Friends wouldn’t be complete without the rest of the gang, and they are all in this episode too.  Rachel, Phoebe, and Chandler have decided to hunt down their Christmas presents from Monica while she is away at the taping.  They search through both apartments and even go so far as to search Central Perk. When they do find the presents, reason prevails and they decide not to discover what Monica has gotten them. Before they get a chance to put the presents back, though, Monica comes home and catches them in the act.  She ends up ruining the surprise anyway.

Super model Elle Macpherson as Joey's love interest, Janine
Joey is off trying to win the heart of his new roommate, Janine, played by Elle Macpherson.

He devises a plan to kiss her at midnight, but since they are taping the show early, midnight never really comes while at the studio.  His plan to woo her works, though, and the credits roll with the two kissing while Auld Land Syne plays in the background.

"Should old acquaintance be forgot--and never brought to mind?"  We will always remember our 'Friends.'


  1. Great choice! I loved how Monica and Ross (and all the characters, really) just always gave their characters their all. Monica and Ross' dorkiness really shines here, and they are oblivious to the way the world views them. So funny.

  2. Who hasn't wanted to be one of the background dancers on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve? I know I have! Thanks Amy.