Friends Writers Finally Explained Rachel’s Iconic “It Is a Big Deal” Joke

Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel left fans a bit confused after joking, “it IS a big deal!” with Ross in 1997. Now, Friends writers have offered the background story.

By Jonathan Borge Sep 29, 2020 3:11 PMTags
Watch: Jennifer Aniston's Struggle to Escape "Rachel" Role

Asking viewers to choose their favorite Friends joke is like asking Tiger King's Carole Baskin to choose her favorite cat. There's enough of ‘em to share the love.

But one iconic line from Friends has managed to confuse fans since it aired way back in 1997. During the season four premiere, "The One With the Jellyfish," Jennifer Aniston's Rachel and David Schwimmer's Ross are seen bickering, which leads to Rachel's eyebrow-raising punchline, "It's NOT that common, it DOESN'T happen to every guy, and it IS a big deal."

For years, Friends fanatics weren't exactly sure why Rachel's "big deal" comment was such a snappy comeback. But now, there's finally clarification. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producers Greg Malins and Adam Chase cleared the air. 

"They were insulting each other back and forth," Malins said. "And I had this idea in my head, [Rachel] says, ‘Well one time, when you prematurely ejaculated, I told you it was okay and it wasn't." Chase confirmed that the line referred to the season two episode, "The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know," that birthed "the juice box moment."

The 25 Best Friends Episodes

Chase said he remembers the writers' reaction when Malins pitched the idea for the kicker: "We all knew exactly what he meant, and we loved that it called back to an iconic moment without ever being explicit."


Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

He also recalled how well the writers worked together. "On Friends, it was so wildly collaborative," he said. "I remember yelling at each other in the room as the characters."

There you have it, another reason to binge Friends from start to finish—again. 

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 11 a.m., only on E!.