Friends Season 1 Episode 8
“The One Where Nana Dies Twice” was the eighth episode of the first season of Friends which aired on NBC on November 10, 1994. Ross and Monica go to the bedside of their dying grandmother, who passes away and then momentarily returns to life before dying again. Chandler questions his sexual persona when a colleague wants to arrange a date for him with another guy.
Chandler is flattered to be offered to be set up on a date by Shelly, a female work colleague, until he learns that his potential date is a man. Shocked, he debates with the guys how he could possibly give off a homosexual vibe.
Monica gets a phone call from her father – her and Ross’ grandmother Althea is in the last stages of life. The two rush to the hospital, where they wait for the inevitable with their parents and aunt, while they reminisce about Nana’s habits, such as that of stealing Sweet ‘n’ Low packets from everywhere — even the Geller’s house.
When the nurse comes over, the siblings go to give Nana a goodbye kiss; when Ross leans in, she moves abruptly and shocks them. Pandemonium ensues as Monica races to get the nurse, while Ross tells his family that she’s not dead yet. Jack mentions to Aunt Lillian, who was out of the room, that Nana “may have died” and they’re “looking into it”. The nurse rushes back in, stating how “this almost never happens”, but the flatline beeps, confirming that Nana is now truly gone. Ross emerges, confirming that now Nana is now truly gone.
Monica and Ross help prepare the funeral: the former picks out coffins with her father; while Ross helps his mom Judy and aunt pick out a dress for Nana, even though the funeral is closed-casket, as they want her to look “nice where she’s going”. The three debate about which shoes to choose, and while Ross reaches for another shoebox he gets showered in Nana’s stolen sweeteners. On the way to the funeral, Chandler exclaims how everyone looks nice “all dressed up”, and then realizes it’s that kind of thing which makes him seem gay.
At the funeral, several incidents happen: Ross falls in an open grave and is given painkillers by his mother Judy; Monica is picked on by her mother at the funeral when Judy advises Monica to start using night cream and leave her hair down as her ears aren’t her “best quality”; Joey watches the Giants-Cowboys football game on a portable TV at the reception with the guys, including Jack; Ross gets loopy from all the painkillers at the reception and starts talking loosely to everyone, including Chandler (who’s about to hook up with a girl named Andrea) by telling him “if you want to be gay, be gay.” The girl turns to her friend and confirms that her suspicions about Chandler being gay were right. Ross confesses his love to Rachel, who thinks he’s just blabbing things under the effects of the painkillers, which finally take control over Ross and he ends up unconscious in Rachel’s lap.
The guys keep reminiscing about Nana at the coffeehouse by browsing through photos of her, and some other photos, including little naked boy Ross. They also find a photo labelled “Me and the gang at Java Joe’s” and remark that Nana must have been around their own age when the photo was taken. The friends remark that the people in the photo look like “a fun gang” and then look around at each other fondly.
Chandler keeps debating his sexual impression with colleagues, until he confides his thoughts with Lowell, who happens to be gay. Lowell assures him that he’s not giving the gay vibe, but also tells him how he could have never gotten a Brian from payroll, as he’s “out of his league”. Chandler leaves the break room stating that he could get a Brian if he wanted to, greeting Brian, who seems to have overheard bits of the conversation, on his way out. It is also mentioned that Chandler had a friend named Bernie Spellman.