Friends writers actually thought that meat belonged in a trifle

How a mix-up in the writers' room led to one of the sitcom's funniest moments

Friends meat trifle

It’s an all-time classic Friends moment – Rachel mixing up two recipes, one sweet and one savoury, and making a “traditional English trifle” with jam, custard, fruit, whipped cream… and beef.


But now it’s emerged that the incident from 1999 episode ‘The One Where Ross Got High’ was actually based on a real-life mix up in the sitcom’s writers’ room.

The episode’s writer Greg Malins told EW that some of the Friends writers got confused between trifle (a dessert) and tripe (the edible lining of a cow or sheep’s stomach).

“We were like, ‘Doesn’t a trifle have meat in it?’ We’re like, ‘No, it’s got pudding in it.’ You have to understand back then there’s no internet, and there weren’t a lot of cooking shows on TV,” Malins said.

This confusion led to the story of Rachel’s mishap and though Malins originally had concerns over whether the storyline would be “believable”, he says the cast were able to sell it. “Because we could write the craziest s**t – and then they could make it believable every time.”

Friends meat trifle

Malins also revealed that one of the episode’s funniest moments, which sees Ross forced to eat the bizarre trifle and complain that it “tastes like feet”, was actually David Schwimmer’s idea, with the actor pitching the line during a run-through.

“That was one-thousand percent David Schwimmer’s idea, and it was super, super funny,” Malins says. “I laughed right then when he pitched it.”


Friends turns 25 this year – vote now in a poll to nominate your favourite ever moment from the show.