Friends : The One With the Videotape (Season 08 Episode 04)

Ross and Rachel were fighting over who came on to whom when they had sex. Later it was proved that Rachel came on to him. But my doubt is the following:

  • Was Rachel lying when she was saying Ross came on to her? Which means she knew when people would use the European story.


  • Did Rachel not know that the European story was used for sex? And she was just having some mild conversation while Ross thought she was coming on to him.

1 Answer 1


Of course she came on to him and then lied about it... She never really went backpacking across Western Europe. :) This whole thing also hinges on some subtle acting by Aniston.

Joey: It’s this story I came up with, very romantic. I swear any woman that hears it, they’re like putty. [...] Now you’re gonna want to have sex with me when you hear it, but you have to remember it's just a story. [...] Years ago, when I was backpacking across Western Europe...

The chain of events is this: Joey comes up with the Europe story. He tells it to a girl to sleep with her; she tells Rachel she slept with a guy after he told her this story. Joey then tells it to Ross, who hadn't had sex for a while, with the understanding that Ross should tell it in the 1st person.

And this is exactly what Rachel does. You can see her making her mind up after the awkward silence when she and Ross admit they would've slept together after Monica's engagement. She knows Ross is not exactly a spontaneous guy and would need some convincing, so she says:

Ross, did I ever tell you about the time I went backpacking through Western Europe?

It's highly unlikely that a spoiled rich girl like Rachel ever did that, and even if she did, that it fit exactly into Joey's story. She simply lies that she did, and has no reason to make up such an extravagant lie that's easy to pick apart just to make conversation. So she's secure in the fact that no one would know this story, but then:

Monica: You used the Europe story!

Chandler: That’s the magic story you use when you wanna have sex!

Rachel: How do you know about that story?

Rachel sounds disappointed when she says that, knowing she was caught in a lie. Her first reaction isn't in the line of 'it wasn't a come on' but rather 'damn, you know the story too': Now they know she only told this made-up story to seduce Ross.

  • Thanks for replying Walt. My doubt was because Rachel was so eager to show everyone the tape to prove her right. I think it was confusing as the episode showed that Rachel was so convinced she was right. No where in any scene did they show Rachel's guilt or doubt that any one might find out.
    – salil87
    Jun 18, 2015 at 17:43
  • 2
    I think it's more that she was convinced she'll get away with it (because what are the odds that Joey was Ken Adams?). And I don't think she'd be nervous because being caught in this lie wasn't that big a deal eventually; she just wanted to win the argument. ;)
    – Walt
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:01

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