The One With The Nine Heartbreaks

by: Avery Guy Vincent

Scene: Central Perk. The whole gang is there, except Phoebe. Phoebe enters a few seconds later with her new boyfriend, Tim.

Phoebe: Hey all. This is Tim, my new boyfriend. I've told him all about, like, everything that's happened to us over the past few years.

All: Hey.

Chandler: (To Joey) You have got to be kidding.

Joey: I'm serious, man, Janice was the worst person to ever come into your life.

Chandler: Oh, come on. She made me happy for a while.

Rachel: Happy? Chandler, you guys broke up and got back together like, five times!

Tim: Yeah, but it's not really your fault. Everyone has one "Janice" in his life.

(The gang all stares at Tim.)

Chandler: Okay, you're saying that Janice has dated every person on the planet. Well, I guess that's possible.

Tim: No, I don't mean Janice literally. I mean, everyone has been with one person who has screwed him over time after time, but he still keeps coming back, even though he knows it's bad for him.

Chandler: Everyone? I doubt it. So many women have screwed me over, I must have taken a few "Janices" from other people.

Tim: I don't know about the others, but I know who Ross' Janice has to be.

Rachel: Carol?

Tim: (To Rachel) No, actually, I think it's you. (The gang, especially Ross and Rachel, are shocked.)

Chandler: Well, that'll kill your conversation.

Opening Credits

[Scene: Central Perk, a few seconds later.]

Rachel: Excuse me? I'm Ross' "Janice?" In case Phoebe didn't already tell you, Carol left Ross for another woman!

(Everyone in the coffehouse stares.)

Ross: And it just sounds so much better when you announce it to the world.

Tim: Look, I know Carol broke his heart, but at least she had the decency to only do it once. From what Phoebe's told me, It looks like Rachel has done it nine times.

Rachel: (Like the mom from Ferris Bueller) Nine times?

Tim: (Like the principal from Ferris Bueller) Nine Times.

Chandler: (Like Ben Stein) Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

(Joey starts laughing, the gang looks at him.)

Joey: What? I thought Ferris Bueller was a funny movie.

Rachel: Excuse me, but Ross and I did not break up nine times.

Tim: No, but you broke his heart, either directly or indirectly, nine different times. Either you dumped him yourself, ignored him when he liked you, or ruined a relationship for him. I'm surprised he's still talking to you.

Rachel: Okay, fine. Gunther, can I use your chalkboard? (Gets up, grabs the chalkboard and takes a piece of chalk from Gunther, who lovingly gives it up. Sets the chalkboard down in front of Tim.) All right. Tell us about every time I've screwed Ross over.

Tim: Okay. Well, first, there was high school, when you knew Ross had a serious crush on you, but you ignored him because you thought he was a geek. (Puts one mark on the chalkboard. Fade to: The Pilot.)

Ross: Mmm. (They both reach for the last cookie) Oh, no-

Rachel: Sorry-

Ross: No no no, go-

Rachel: No, you have it, really, I don't want it-

Ross: Split it?

Rachel: Okay.

Ross: Okay. (They split it) You know you probably didn't know this, but back in high school, I had a, um, major crush on you.

Rachel: I knew.

Ross: You did! Oh.... I always figured you just thought I was Monica's geeky older brother.

Rachel: I did.

Ross: Oh. Listen, do you think- and try not to let my intense vulnerability become any kind of a factor here- but do you think it would be okay if I asked you out? Sometime? Maybe?

Rachel: Yeah, maybe...

Ross: Okay... okay, maybe I will...

(Fade back to Central Perk, the present.)

Tim: And that was just a setup for Ross to be heartbroken again. You knew he liked you, but Ross respected you too much to come on to you on your wedding day.

(Cut back to the Pilot.)

Monica: Okay, look, this is probably for the best, y'know? Independence. Taking control of your life.

Joey: (Sitting beside her) And hey, you need anything, you can always come to Joey. Me and Chandler live across the hall. And he's away a lot.

Monica: Joey, stop hitting on her! It's her wedding day!

Joey: What, like there's a rule or something?

(Fade back to the present, everyone glares at Joey)

Joey: What?

Tim: And then, when Ross finally got the courage to ask you out, you shattered him again when you met Paolo. (Makes a second mark on the board, fade to: The One With the Blackout. Scene: The infamous balcony. Ross and Rachel are talking.)

Rachel: Hmmm... this is so nice.

Ross: OK, I have a question. Well, actually, it's not so much a question as.. more of a general wondering... ment.

Rachel: Okay.

Ross: Okay. Here goes. For a while now, I've been wanting to, um....

Rachel: Ohhh!!!! [looking at something behind Ross]

Ross: Yes, yes, that's right...

Rachel: Oh, look at the little cat! [a small kitten is on the roof behind Ross]

Ross: What? [the cat jumps on his shoulders] Ow!

[Scene: Inside. Monica, Joey and Phoebe are singing while outside, Ross and Rachel are trying to get the cat off of Ross' shoulder.]

Monica, Joey, and Phoebe: [singing] I'm on top of the world, looking down on creation and the only explanation I can find, is the wonders I've found ever since...

(Cut to: same episode, later)

[Scene: Monica's apartment. The gang is all sitting around the table.]

Phoebe: Oh, look look look. The last candle's about to burn out. 10, 9, 8, 7... [time lapse]... negative 46, negative 47, negative 48.... [someone blows it out, the room gets completely dark]

Ross: Thank you.

Phoebe: Thanks.

Ross: Kinda... spooky without any lights.

Joey: [does a maniacal laugh] Bwah-hah-hah!

[Everyone starts to imitate him.]

Ross: OK, guys, guys? I have the definitive one. Mwwwooooo-hah-hah...

[The lights come back on, and Rachel and Paolo are making out. Ross clutches his chest.]

Ross: Oh.. oh... oh.

(Fade back to the present.)

Tim: And so, instead of being with this caring, loving, wonderful man, you climb up on top of a muscle-bound Italian who comes on to your friends!

Joey: Hey, I'm flattered, but I never dated Rachel.

Tim: I was talking about Paolo, the other muscle-bound Italian who comes on to Rachel's friends.

Joey: Oh, okay.

Chandler: (to Joey) You're not allowed to talk anymore.

Tim: The third time you hurt Ross was when you came between him and Julie. You finally had some proof that Ross liked you, that you just couldn't ignore, but you were too late. (Cut to: The One Where Rachel Finds Out. Rachel picks up a gift.)

Rachel: Who's this from?

Chandler: Oh, that's Ross's.

Rachel: Oh... [opens it]... [sees it is a pin] Oh my God. He remembered.

Phoebe: Remembered what?

Rachel: It was like months ago. We were walking by this antique store, and I saw this pin in the window, and I told him it was just like one my grandmother had when I was a little girl. Oh! I can't believe he remembered! (fade back to the present)

Tim: But instead of moving on, like Ross did by going out with Julie, you ruined things between Julie and Ross by telling him you liked him. (Makes a third mark on the board, fade to The One Where Ross Finds Out.)

Ross: You're over me?

Rachel: Ohhhhhhhh God. [climbs off his back]

Ross: Wha... you're uh, you're, you're over me?

Rachel: Ohh, ohh.

Ross: When, when were you... under me? Rach. Rachel do you, I mean, were you, uh. . . What?

Rachel: Ohh, OK, OK, OK, well, basically, lately, I've uh, I've uh, sort of had feelings for you. (Fade to The One With The List. Ross enters with a melancholy look.)

Joey: [to Ross] Hey, so how'd it go with Julie? Did you, did you break her heart?

Ross: Yes, it was horrible. She cried. I cried. She threw things, they hit me. Anyway, I did the right thing. (fade to present.)

Tim: And then, when you found out that Ross had tried to decide between the two of you, you acted so insulted that he might have reasons not to date you, you dumped him again! (Makes a fourth mark on the board, fade back to The One With The List.)

Rachel: All right, you know what? This isn't funny anymore. There's something about me on that piece of paper and I want to see it.

Ross: No, you don't.

Rachel: All right, you know what, that's fine. If you guys want to be children about this, that's fine. I do not need to see it. [Rachel grabs the paper and runs across the room, reading it to herself.]

Rachel: What is this? Ross, what is this?

Chandler: Good luck.

[Chandler and Joey leave quickly.]

Ross: Ok, just, just remember how crazy I am about you, ok?

Rachel: Kind of ditzy? Too into her looks? Spoiled?

Ross: Now that's a little spoiled. He was supposed to type "little", the idiot.

Rachel: Just a waitress?

Ross: No, that, that was, I mean, as opposed to uh, the uh, ok. Is this over yet Rach?

Rachel: Oh! I do not have chubby ankles!

[Rachel leaves, and Ross follows her into the hall.]

Ross: No, no, wait, ok, ok, look at the other side. Look at Julie's column.

Rachel: She is not Rachem. What the hell's a Rachem? Is that some stupid paleontology word that I wouldn't know because I'm just a waitress?

[She goes into her apartment and slams the door.]

Ross: No, Rach, come on. Rach! Rach, no, no! She's not Rachel, she is, she is not, Ra--Rachel?

(cut to present.)

Tim: Then finally, when you found out what Ross did for you before the prom, you actually started dating. After you shattered him four times, he still loved you. Then, Mark came into the picture. He got you a job at Bloomingdale's, and Ross suspected it might have been because he liked you. The two of you "take a break," and Ross calls you up later. (fade to The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break)

(The phone rings and Rachel answers it.)

Rachel: Hello.

Ross: Hi! It's me.

Rachel: Hi! Oh, I'm so glad you called.

Ross: Really? I've been thinking, this is crazy, I mean don't, don't you think we can work on this?

Mark: Hey, what do you want to drink?

Ross: Who's that?

Rachel: Nobody.

Mark: Is it okay if I finish the apple juice?

(Rachel mouths 'Shoot!' or something similar.)

Ross: Is that Mark?

Rachel: Umm, honey, look he just came over to....

[Cut to The Philly.]

Ross: Yeah! Got it! (slams the phone down, and walks back to the bar. Fade back to the present.)

Tim: Ross thought you were sleeping with Mark, he was angry, and so he wanted to get back at you. He slept with Chloe, but I know that not a minute goes by that Ross doesn't regret doing that.

Ross: That's true. It was a stupid, stupid mistake that I wish I had never made.

Tim: So you dump Ross, (makes a fifth mark on the chalkboard) and the next person you go out with, of course, is

Ross and Tim: Mark! (fade to The One With The Tiny T-Shirt)

Mark: Um, y'know, before we go ah, there's something I need to say.

Rachel: Oh, okay.

Mark: I've kinda of had this ah, this crush on you. (Rachel is shocked) But since you were with Ross, I-I didn't do anything about it. But, now that you're not, I'd really like to ask you out sometime. So-so that's-that's what I'm doing, now. (fade back to present.)

Tim: It turned out that Ross was right all along, and that Mark just got you the job because he wanted to get close to you. But instead of apologizing to Ross, or getting on with your life, you act selfish again when you talk Abby into shaving her head, and get Ross to break up with her and choose you! (makes a sixth mark on the chalkboard.) Then, when Ross refuses to take all of the blame for a situation that you brought on, you dump him again! (makes a seventh mark on the board, fade to The One With The Jellyfish.)

[Scene: Rachel's bedroom. Ross and Rachel have just finished consummating the new relationship.]

Rachel: Oh-hooo, I missed you.

Ross: I missed you too.

Rachel: Ooh, I was soo nervous about that letter. But the way you owned up to everything, it just showed me how much you've grown. Y'know?

Ross: (getting miffed) I suppose.

Rachel: You have! Ross, you should give yourself credit. I mean my Mom never thought this would work out. It was all, "Once a cheater, always a cheater."

Ross: (getting angry) Umm-hmm.

Rachel: Ooh, I just wish we hadn't lost those four months, but if time was what you needed just to gain a little perspective...

[cut to Monica cleaning the floor in the kitchen]

Ross: (yelling from the bedroom) WE WERE ON A BREAK!!!(fade back to the present)

Tim: And still, Ross managed to get back on his feet, and find another woman to love, Emily. But you just couldn't leave well enough alone, could you? No, you decided to show up at his wedding, and make him lose Emily. (Makes an eighth mark on the chalkboard, fade to The One With The Yeti.)

Emily: How can you do this to me?! I thought I'd made my feelings about Rachel perfectly clear!

Ross: (going onto the patio) Look Emily, I'm just having dinner with my friends, okay?

Emily: You obviously can't keep away from her.

Ross: Emily that's ridiculous. Look, I'm-I'm moving for you, I'm cutting friends out of my life for you. Please, just get on the plane and come to New York. Okay, you'll see you're the only person I want to be with.

Emily: I'll feel better when I'm there, and I can know where you are all the time.

Ross: Well, you can't know where I am all the time. Look, this marriage is never gonna work if you don't trust me.

Emily: You're right.

Ross: So, can you trust me? (Pause.)

Emily: No.

(Ross lowers his head. Fade back to the present.)

Tim: And finally, after all this, and after Ross knows you still love him, you just have to get his hopes up and dump him one last time. (Makes the ninth mark on the chalkboard, fade to The One With All The Kissing.)

Rachel: Umm, okay, I think I'm-I'm just gonna-just gonna say it. Just gonna say it. Uhh, (pause) I'm still in love with you Ross.

(Ross is stunned.)

Ross: Wow. Umm Huh I'm-I'm not sure what to do with that right now.

(Rachel starts laughing hysterically.)

Ross: What? What? Was that a joke? 'Cause it's mean.

Rachel: (Laughing) I'm so dead serious. I'm totally serious.

Ross: Why are you laughing?

Rachel: Because (laughs), because, I just heard it. I heard it, and it's ridiculous! I mean, you're married. You're-you're married and it's just ridiculous, and it's like, it's like when said it, I sort of like, I floated up out of my body, y'know? And, and-and then I heard myself say it and then the floating Rachel (laughs) was like, "You are such an idiot!"

Ross: Well, well I am married. Even though I haven't spoken to my wife since the wedding.

Rachel: (laughs) I'm sorry, that's not funny.

Ross: Actually, it kinda is. My wife won't return my calls. I don't know where my wife is. (Laughs) "Hey Ross, where's the Mrs.?" Don't know!

Rachel: Oh God, ohh, okay, y'know what, do you think ah, do you think that you just forget that I told you this?

Ross: Well, I kinda have to. I mean, because the thing is

Rachel: The thing is y'know, that you're married to Emily.

Ross: That is what the thing is.

Rachel: Ross, things aren't gonna be weird between us, right? I mean was that just the stupidest thing, me telling you that?

Ross: No. No. No, I'm-I'm glad you did. Look, if nothing else, it's-it's always great when someone tells you they love you.

Rachel: That's what I said! Thank you for being so nice. (They hug.)

Ross: No thank you for Thank you. (Fade to The One Where Ross Moves In.)

Rachel: How's Ross doing? Y'know, since all the Emily stuff.

Monica: He's not great, umm, but he's dealing with it. Oh wait a minute, you're not gonna try...

Rachel: Oh, honey, please, no, I can't get started with all that Ross stuff again. I mean, he's gonna be screwed up for a looong time. And besides y'know, I don't, I don't go for guys right after they get divorced.

Monica: Right, you only go for them 5 minutes before they get married.

(Fade back to present.)

Tim: So there you have it. You have broken Ross' heart nine times: twice by ignoring him, four times by dumping him, and three times by ruining his relationship with someone else. And I don't even dare imagine how Julie, Abby, and Emily feel. Don't you think you've caused Ross enough pain to qualify as his "Janice?" (The group is all deathly silent, Rachel looks as though she has been slapped.)

Phoebe: Okay, honey, you just seriously offended all of us. I don't think we should see each other anymore.

Tim: Ouch. Well, all right. I'll go, but you really can't hide from the truth. (To Rachel.) You have put Ross through more emotional pain than a weaker man could have survived. Every time you've broken his heart, Ross has been able to pick up the pieces and glue them back together. If you do it again, there may not be anything left to repair. (He leaves.)

Rachel: Oh my God, what a jerk!

(The gang all starts agreeing immediately, but you can tell by the looks on their faces that Tim hit a nerve with the truth.)

Closing Credits

[Scene: Central Perk. The gang is gone, Tim enters.]

Tim: (To Gunther) Well, did it work?

Gunther: Oh, yeah. Rachel won't be chasing that dork Ross for a while. Thanks.

(Slips Tim a wad of bills)

Tim: Glad to be of service. It's all true, though. Rachel sounds like bad news. If I were you, man, I'd move on, too.

Gunther: Don't worry. I'm sure she'll change for me.