China Champions Selfless

Selfless good deeds

is the fourth episode of the fifth season of Friends, which aired on October 15, 1998.


5x04 Monica dance

Monica mimicks Chandler's overly-cocky attitude about their relationship.

Rachel goes into Monica's bedroom to bring her some mail and comes out screaming over the position she found Monica waiting in on her bed. Monica reveals that she has a secret boyfriend and claims it's a guy from work. Joey and Ross also show up and, a short while later, Chandler enters with a bottle of champagne. Upon seeing everyone there, he claims he wants to celebrate the fact that his office finally got wrinkle-free fax-paper. Rachel, unaware that the secret boyfriend is Chandler, asks Chandler if Monica has mentioned him and reveals that Monica told her that this guy is best sex she's ever had. Chandler is delighted with this news and goes overboard in his gloating. This annoys Monica, who threatens to cut Chandler off until he apologizes and tells her that, if he's the best, it's only because of her. He says that he was nothing before her, but when he's with her "Oh. My. God."

Joey wears a tuxedo believing he's hired as host for a PBS telethon, but is actually just hired as one of many phone operators on screen, even sitting outside the main camera view. Phoebe says she hates PBS because it reminds her of the miserable days when her mother watched Sesame Street on it before committing suicide and even complains that Joey's telethon is selfishness masquerading as a good deed; when he retorts that having the babies also wasn't a selfless good deed because that doesn't exists, she promises to prove there is. Because she fails at all her attempts, she decides to donate $200 to PBS, because "they bring happiness to lots of kids whose moms didn't kill themselves", and she won the bet. However, this donations leads to Joey being the volunteer which broke last year's record, so he finally gets on TV; which makes Phoebe happy; until she realises she is feeling good about herself and that she lost the bet.

Ross tries to make up with Emily by phone, but is asked to move to London, which he can't do because then he can't see his son Ben anymore, and he also can't convince Carol and Susan to move to London. When Emily finally agress to move to New York to work on their relationship there is one problem: she wants Ross to agree that he won't see Rachel anymore, which the others consider totally unreasonable. Because nobody, including Ross, has an idea how to solve this, he became desperate enough to leave the decision to a Magic 8 ball, which proves uncooperative. Not knowing about the condition, Rachel incites Ross to do whatever Emily wants, which he does.

Main Cast

- Rachel Green
- Monica Geller
- Phoebe Buffay
- Joey Tribbiani
- Chandler Bing
- Ross Geller

Supporting Cast

- Emily Waltham
Gary Collins - Himself
Sandra Thigpen - The Stage Manager
John R. McLaughlin - The PBS Volunteer
- Gunther
- Carol Willick (uncut version)
- Susan Bunch (uncut version)
- Ben Geller (uncut version)


Directed By:
Shelley Jenson


  • In the uncut DVD version of the episode, Ross tries to convince Carol and Susan to move to London, to no avail.
  • In the DVD version Monica gives the Magic 8 Ball back to Ross after its prophecy that Chandler will not have sex that night (which turns out to be false after the two of them make up). Ross asks again if he should never see Rachel again and Rachel walks into the room at that moment and wants to know what the question to the 8 Ball was. Ross says he asked if Rachel will get to pick the movie they are going to see tonight. The answer turns out to be yes and Rachel extatically proclaims "Looks like Stella's gonna get her groove back tonight!" She is unaware that she has also just answered the question Ross asked before she came in (which also turns out to be wrong, so the 8 Ball was broken after all).
  • Stella is the protagonist of the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
  • Phoebe got sent a key chain from Sesame Street, even though she was not living anywhere.
  • Joey shows an unusual amount of intellectual prowess in this episode, specifically over Phoebe. He knew that Santa didn't exist, that no selfless good deed existed, and that a bee would die after stinging something, all of which Phoebe didn't know.
  • Goofs

  • When Susan and Ben come in, they knock, even though its Susan's apartment.
  • At the beginning of the episode when Rachel is going into Monica's room, she is wearing closed-toe heels. However, when Rachel bursts out after seeing Monica waiting for Chandler, she is wearing open-toe heels.
  • Monica comes to get her pan back from Chandler, and when she opens the door, the magna doodle pen is hanging down. The shot changes and it is attached to the board; it changes again and it is hanging once more.
  • It is very coincidental that every time Phoebe calls the PBS Telethon she only gets through to Joey every time even though there are at least ten other volunteers.
  • Even if Phoebe's donation hadn't gotten him on TV, all Joey would've had to point out is that the motive for her deed was to beat Joey and prove her point. In fact, any deed she completed with that motive could be said to lack altruism.
  • Monica and Chandler sneak into Central Perk from the inside door and are trying to act nonchalant. In an attempt to do so, Monica is shown picking up a coffee mug that was left behind by the previous customers. For a cleanliness freak like Monica its unusual so she must be so busy pretending that she did not think before taking a sip from it. The coffee was Monica's from before they went in the closet. The reason that the Friends always have their spot at the coffeehouse (except for the intro scene in one early episode) is because their spot is truly theirs. You can see the RESERVED sign on the coffee table in most episodes. In fact it is on the table in this scene.
  • Continuity

  • Ross's year of birth is inconsistent. In The Pilot (1994), Ross says he is 26, implying he was born in 1967. Also, in The One Where Monica And Richard Are Just Friends (1997), he says he is 29. However in the next season in The One Where They're Going To Party Ross also says he is 29, implying he was born in 1968. Furthermore, in this episode Ross says he is about to get divorced again before he's thirty, implying he is still 29 and born in 1969. Also, in The One With The Video Tape, Ross claims that he backpacked across Europe in 1983 then whispers to himself "I was thirteen?", implying he was born in 1969 or 1970. This inconsistency happens with all main characters in the show. This is only a continuity issue if it's stated at some point that the show follows a real-time progression of events and set in the same year the episodes aired.
  • Chandler expresses to Monica that she is the one who made him the best sex she's ever had. This is actually true, as he is referring to the time she taught him about hitting all of the seven erogenous zones in a woman to dramatically improve his sex life with Kathy in The One With Phoebe's Uterus, who would be the last ever serious relationship he had before Monica.

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