Friends writer reveals inspiration behind Rachels iconic trifle disaster

Rachel makes trifle in Friends

The worlds most disgusting pudding (Picture: NBC)

Friends has given us plenty of belly laughs over the years, but one of the best moments has got to be when Rachel makes that trifle.

You know the one we mean? With the raspberries, jam, custard, cream and… minced beef, onions and peas?

Her iconic culinary disaster in The One Where Ross Got High – and Joey and Ross reaction to it – was a disgusting but hilarious highlight of season six.

And now Friends writers are giving us the lowdown on what the hell inspired them to concoct that God-awful Thanksgiving recipe.

Episode writer Greg Malins admitted that originally the story idea was dismissed for being just too ridiculous.

In the scene, Rachel adds a generous helping of meat to her traditional English desert when the pages of her cookbook get stuck together.

Think one half trifle, one half shepherds pie. Gross.



Its a trifle. Its got all of these layers. First, theres a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam, then custard, which I made from scratch,Rachel explains to Ross and Joey.

Raspberries, more ladyfingers. Then beef sautéed with peas and onions. Then more custard, and then bananas, and then I just put some whipped cream on top.

Greg revealed it was that last line that sold writers on the concept, telling EW: We just knew that would be a killer and thats when we knew we had to do this.


Friends writer Greg Malins said the idea for the meat trifle came from confusion in the writers room about what a trifle actually was (Picture: NBC)

He explained that the idea came from confusion in writers room about what a trifle actually was – with some of them getting it confused with tripe (the lining of a cow or sheeps stomach).

We were like, “Doesnt a trifle have meat in it?” Were like, “No, its got pudding in it.” You have to understand back then theres no internet, and there werent a lot of cooking shows on TV, Greg admitted.

We are absolutely going to whip up a trifle shepherds pie in celebration of the shows 25th anniversary.

Greg added that some of the best lines from the scene were improvised.

David Schwimmer suggested that Ross should splutter it tastes like feet! after trying the meal.



That was one-thousand percent David Schwimmers idea, and it was super, super funny. I laughed right then when he pitched it, Greg recalled.


Joey and Ross reaction to the desert was improvised (Picture: NBC)

His other favourite line was Joeys enthusiastic praise of the dish.

Whats not to like? Custard? Good! Jam? Good! Meat? Goooooood! Joey says as he shovels forkful after forkful of the stuff into his mouth.