Monica & Ross Performed The Routine 24 Years Ago

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As the world prepared to celebrate the turn of the millennium, Friends debuted one of its most memorable episodes.

Airing on Dec. 16, 1999, “The One With The Routine” follows Chandler, Phoebe, and Rachel as they attempt to find Monica’s hidden Christmas gifts to ensure they can outdo her in the present department.

However, the highlight of the Season 6 episode comes when Monica, Ross, Joey, and his new roommate, Janine Lecroix (played by model Elle Macpherson) attend a taping of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Elle Macpherson. NBCU Photo Bank

To secure a spot on a dance podium and guarantee their appearance on the Rockin’ Eve special, Monica and Ross attempt to impress a producer by performing “the routine” they choreographed together in the eighth grade.

While Monica and Ross appear satisfied with the cringe-worthy number, not everyone sees their vision. “Make sure you get this, Dick will want it for the bloopers show,” a producer jokes of the performance.

Later in the episode, Monica and Ross attempt to recreate the routine’s original ending, which sees Monica dramatically catch Ross. “I can’t do it,” Monica shrieks, before moving out of Ross’ way.

History Of The Routine

Fans might be surprised to discover that it took a Hollywood professional to choreograph the famous Friends routine.

Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2019, choreographer and Pussycat Dolls founder, Robin Antin, revealed that she was hired to create an “extremely silly” dance for the Season 6 episode.

Warner Bros. / ‘Friends’

It was a dance that Monica and Ross were going to do on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” Antin recalled. “Their description for me was silly, fun, trying way too hard, over the top, really dancing, just thinking that they’re the best ever.”

Legacy Of The Routine

The impact of Monica and Ross’ routine can be felt way beyond its original airing. In 2021, Courteney Cox (aka Monica) recreated the dance with singer Ed Sheeran on Instagram.

“Just some routine dancing with a friend,” Cox wrote in a caption, along with the hashtag “ReRoutine.”

Cox also revealed in 2021 that “The One With The Routine” remains one of her all-time favorite Friends episodes.

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