The One Where Joey Cleans

Season 1 Episode 1

Written by: Neil Studd
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me, but to Bright, Kaufman and Crane Productions and Warner Bros. Their use is not intended for profit, only for entertainment.

Note: As this is my first fanfic, I thought I should establish the time period where these episodes take place. They are set in the relative stability of early season six - i.e. Chandler has just moved in with Monica, Rachel and Phoebe are now living together, and Joey...well, he's all alone across the hall. Everything that has occurred in the Friends world up until then, has happened here. To save confusion, I've also reset the season / episode numbers, hence this is the "pilot" (series 1, episode 1).

[Scene: Chandler and Monica's. Monica is giving Chandler a 'tour' of the kitchen area.]

Monica: (picking up a towel) ...and the green patterned towel is used for china.

Chandler: Okay, just china. You wouldn't use it for, say, cutlery?

Monica: (deadly serious) Why would anyone do that?

Chandler: I...I don't know. (He turns away from her and makes a "what the hell is that about?" face.)

Joey: (entering, looking frustrated) Hey.

Chandler: Hey.

Monica: Hi.

Joey: (to Chandler) Remember how you used to live with me?

Chandler: Sure.

Joey: Yeah, why did you do that?

Monica: What are you talking about?

Joey: See, I've been interviewing women today...

Chandler: (interrupting) Always a pleasure. (Monica scowls.)

Joey: (continuing) ...Well, they're all okay on the telephone, the rent's a reasonable price, I'm a very attractive man, so (falling at Monica's feet crying) why won't they move in with me?

Chandler: ...Because you greet them like that at the door?

Monica: Joey, maybe you just need to give the apartment a bit of a spring clean.

Joey: But it's September 20th.

Monica: Contrary to popular belief, you can have a spring clean when it's not spring.

Joey: No, no, I don't think that's the problem. I don't think my ad is reaching a large enough audience. I need to get the word on the street that Joey's place is available! (glances over towards the balcony) Ooh! (he runs out onto the balcony)

Chandler: (with Monica, watching from the window) Oh dear God no.

(Joey's eyes move up and down the street. His eyes bulge as he obviously spots a beautiful woman.)

Joey: (shouting down) Hey! (pause) Hey! You in the pretty dress! (He's obviously got her attention. He puts on his sexiest face, and shouts:) How you doin'?

Opening Credits

[Scene: Central Perk. Rachel and Phoebe are sitting on the couch drinking coffee.]

Phoebe: ...and so after that, the police took away the pimp for questioning and declared the kitchen a crime site. And this big fat-ass cop, he says "You ladies wanna be careful who you's be inviting round for drinks in the future."

Rachel: (intrigued) Wow Pheebs! I can't believe you never talked about any of your old roommates before!

(Ross enters. He is carrying a notebook and pen, and keeps his eyes fixed upon the paper as he manouvers around the tables and sits next to Phoebe and Rachel. He remains silent and appears deep in thought.)

Rachel: (After about five seconds) Hi?

Ross: (Still tranfixed by his notebook) Hi.

Rachel: (After another long pause) Watcha doin'?

Ross: (finally looking up. He is calm.) Well, I figured that I've been spending a lot of time lately worrying about how bad my life is, and then this morning I just looked at myself in the mirror, and said "Ross, Ross, Ross. Pull yourself together." (He lets out a little chuckle.) "Why are you doing this to yourself? There's a lot of guys out there who've been divorced three times who have it worse than you. You are a wonderful, wonderful man." (He smiles and drifts away for a second before drifting back to reality. He is still calm.) So, I figured I'd prove my point by writing down here a list of real people who have been divorced three times, and comparing my life to theirs.

Rachel: Great idea! So what have you got so far?

Ross: (angry) NOTHING!! I've even gone to the library and been through history books. The last guy I could find was that king who had seven wives.

Phoebe: (thinks she's on Ross's wavelength) Ooh! You mean Alfonso Birkoni, Ringmaster Extraordinaire!

Ross: (appears blank for a second) No, Pheebs, he had seven knives.

Phoebe: Oh. (clicks again) Ooh! You mean that King of England? Wasn't that, like, centuries ago?

Ross: (resigned) Yeah, I know. My life is a joke.

Phoebe: (trying to be comforting) Ross, you're not a joke. Believe me, I have never laughed at anything that you have said or done. (Pause. Ross lets out a weak smile.) Except the Vegas thing. (Ross saddens again. Phoebe speaks sincerely) No, really Ross, you should put it all behind you. You just gotta get back into the dating game, y'know? Go back to square one. Take a chance. Roll the dice. (Shouting) Roll them!! (Everyone in the coffee house looks at Phoebe.) Sorry, I guess I just had such a good time in Vegas.

[Scene: Chandler and Monica's. Monica is washing up as Ross enters.]

Ross: (mortified, as only he can) Hi.

Monica: Oh, sweety, what's wrong?

Ross: Remember after my marriage with Carol ended, and you gave me that talk, and you told me that everything was going to be alright and it wouldn't be long until I found the perfect woman for me?

Monica: Of course.

Ross: Remember how, after the Emily thing, you gave me the same talk but changed the names around?

Monica: (seeing where this is leading) Yeah...

Ross: Yeah, could you do it again for me please?

Monica: (annoyed) But I'm so bored of giving this talk! I can, like, recite it word-for-word now! (off Ross's look) No, yeah I'll do it for you. (Laughs) What are big sisters for?

(They both sit at the table.)

Monica: Ross, you've got to stop torturing yourself. This whole Emily thing...

Ross: Rachel.

Monica: This whole Rachel thing cannot hold you back! You've got so much going for you, what with Ben, the museum...(in a very concerned voice) Hey, would you like a tissue?

Ross: Thanks.

(Monica opens a cupboard and pulls out a box labelled "Ross Marriage Breakup". The numbers "1" and "2" have both been crossed out, and a "3" written in their place. She opens the box and hands Ross a tissue. She places the box on the table.)

Monica: Think about it, Ross. You're young, you have the best years of your life ahead of you, you... (searching) you... (she gives up and pulls cue cards out of the box)

Ross: I've got to open my eyes to the world?

Monica: (checking card) Yes! (comforting) Yes, that is true.

Ross: Thanks, Mon, but I think this is the beginning of the end for me. Divorced three times? Now all I need is some slippers and a large scary dog, people'll think I'm about 85.

Monica: (putting the box away in the cupboard again) Seriously, Ross, go out there and forget about this! What happened with Rachel was just a stupid drunken mistake. Stop dwelling, go and live a little!

Ross: Thanks Mon. (They hug.)

(Chandler enters. He sees Ross and Monica hugging.)

Chandler: (to Monica) Giving the marriage breakup talk again?

(Monica nods and ushers him away.)

[Scene: The hallway. Chandler leaves his apartment and knocks on Joey's door]

Joey: (from inside) Just a minute! (There is a loud crash, followed by a yelp from Joey, and then silence.)

Chandler: (hearing the noise, he shouts) Joey! (No response) Joe, are you okay? (Still no answer) I've gotta get help. (He turns to go across the hall but stops) Or I could go in myself, this door's never been locked. (He opens the door and enters.)

[Scene: Joey's apartment. We only see the door. Chandler opens the door and a look of annoyance crosses his face. He moves into the apartment and we can just about see Joey, buried under a huge pile of beer cans.]

Chandler: How many times have I told you, don't ever try to go over nine cans high! It never works! (Joey crawls out from beneath his aluminium prison.)

Joey: I'm sorry Chandler, it's just there were so many of them...I swear they were talking to me...

Chandler: (picking up one of the cans) Well, some of these have been here six years, I'm surprised they're not running around doing the housework! (looking up) Which, by the way, is in desperate need of doing. No wonder no-one wants to move in here, they're probably expecting a small mutant to jump out on them!

(As Chandler says this, a figure rises from the "rubble". It's hard to see who (or what) it is, as they are covered in pizza boxes and carrier bags)

"Monster": Eeeeew! (Chandler jumps a mile. The "monster" shakes off the pizza boxes and carrier bags. It's Phoebe.) There's actually real ancient pizza left in this box!

Joey: (ears pricking up) Where??

Chandler: (accusingly) Phoebe Buffay, was this stacking contest your idea?

Phoebe: (yelling like a marine) No, sir! (begging) Well yeah it was, please don't kill me... (Chandler scowls. He says nothing, but points to the door. Phoebe leaves, her head bowed in shame.)

Chandler: Seriously, Joe, you should think about tidying this place up a bit.

Joey: (with a mouthful of the leftover pizza) What?

Chandler: I'm sorry, but it smells in here!

Joey: (certain) No way. We Tribbianis never tidy. My father never tidies, his father never tidied, we had a lot of messy men through the generations.

Chandler: 'kay Joe, but if you leave this, you won't get a flatmate. Then you won't be able to afford the rent. Then you'll have to live in a pile of garbage on the streets. (This doesn't seem to have got through to Joey) And you won't have a TV! (Joey is shocked.) Yeah. Now, Yogi, let's get organised.

Commercial Break

[Scene: Central Perk. Ross is sitting on the couch drinking coffee. Gunther is cleaning nearby. He moves over to Ross.]

Gunther: So you and Rachel both got drunk, and ended up getting married?

Ross: (Laughs at the stupidity of it all) Yeah.

Gunther: All because you had too much to drink?

Ross: (drinking coffee) Mmm-hmm.

Gunther: Interesting... (He turns away and scribbles this down)

(Rachel enters and walks over to the bar.)

Rachel: Hi, Gunther, can I get a decaf?

Gunther: You sure you don't want something a little stronger? (He waves a bottle of whisky at her.)

Rachel: (confused) No, I'm fine thanks. (She moves over to Ross.)

Ross: (still downbeat) Hi.

Rachel: Ross, you've got to be more positive. It really can't be that bad having three divorces, can it? I wouldn't know, I'm only on my first of course.

Ross: Yeah, but you did ditch a guy at the alter.

Rachel: Yeah, but he wasn't gay.

Ross: Yeah, but he did marry your maid of honour.

Rachel: Yeah, well at least I remembered his name.

(They both laugh.)

Ross: Look at us. How pathetic are we? We're, what, thirty...we've had five weddings between us. I know vicars who've presided over fewer.

Rachel: No, it's not sad. It just shows we're experienced. A lot of people look for experience in a person.

Ross: Experience with divorce?

Rachel: (Sees Ross's point) No, not necessarily... It's more that we've seen it all before, we can cope with any troubles that may arise. There's nothing sad about it, I mean, what are the odds of us ever getting divorced again? (Ross and Rachel don't see, but Gunther passes behind them with a chalkboard, on which is written "GUESS WHEN ROSS WILL DIVORCE AGAIN: $1 A GO.", followed by a series of dates. People rush up to Gunther, waving dollar bills in his face. Ross turns and sees this, and holds his head. Rachel comforts him.)

[Scene: Joey's place, still engulfed in rubbish. Joey and Chandler are standing by the door.]

Joey: Well, I think we've made good progress. See ya. (He turns to leave, but Chandler stops him.)

Chandler: Picking up the TV guide does not constitute tidying! (He pauses.) Do you want me to get Monica in here?

Joey: (shocked) Ooh, nooo, let's get started. Teach me everything you know.

Chandler: Okay. (Speaks as if teaching a class. He sounds incredibly posh.) The first rule of tidying is "Know thy enemy". (Returns to normal voice) Or is that the first rule of combat? Whatever. (Posh again) Joey, your enemy is rubbish. We have to banish this eternal garbage, and to do so will require extreme prejudice. (Normal voice) Nah, this is definitely the rules of combat.

Joey: Not one word of your little teacher-talk did I understand.

Chandler: Get some trash bags.

Joey: Okay, that's easy enough. (He moves to fetch them but Chandler restrains him.)

Chandler: (looking at the mess) A lot of trash bags.

(Joey leaves and goes across the hall.)

[Scene: Chandler and Monica's. Monica is dusting as Joey enters.]

Joey: Hey, Mon, do you have any trash bags?

Monica: (Stopping, shocked) Who made mess?

Joey: (laid back) Now, Monica, I don't think this really...

Monica: (interrupting, shrieking) Your mess is my mess! I actually have to live across the hall from you, remember?

Joey: It's OK, Monica, I know you're obsessive about this sort of thing, but trust me: you do not wanna go across there.

Chandler: (entering) Honey, he's right. To do so may scar you for life.

Monica: (scared) it that bad?

Chandler: Oh, it's far, far worse.

Rachel: (entering with Ross. She is sincere) Hey, cool idea Joey! Turning your apartment into a garbage storing room! You can, like, charge people to dump their rubbish there! (gasps) You could even arrange collections from uptown! (Monica has to sit down to catch her breath after hearing this.)

Chandler: No Rach...

Joey: (nudging Chandler) Chandler! Don't dismiss the thought so quickly...

Chandler: (firmly) No.... Mon, calm down. We're going to tidy it.

Monica: Yeah! Like you could ever tidy as well as me.

Chandler: (spotting an opportunity) Is that a challenge?

Monica: No way. If it's as bad as Rachel says, you're on your own.

Joey: (aside, to Chandler) Nice try man. (Chandler nods.)

(Monica gives some trash bags to Chandler. Phoebe enters.)

Phoebe: Hey.

All: Hey. (Chandler and Joey depart.)

Monica: Pheebs, have you seen Joey's place?

Phoebe: Isn't it great! It's like a little assault course made of trash! (off Monica's look) But I could see why that would be a problem to you.

Ross: Guys, you will be pleased to know that from now on, I'm not going to dwell on the past.

Rachel: Really?

Ross: Yeah. I'm not in any hurry to get married again, so I don't need to worry about this sort of thing. I'll just take life as it comes.

Rachel: ...So you're not going to regret things that you've done in the past? (Ross is confused) You're not going to...regret mistakes made in past relationships? (Ross is still blank) Sleeping with other women?

Ross: We were on a break! But, that's all in the past. I don't need to worry about that.

Rachel: You do if I kick you in the groin! (She does. Ross howls.)

Ross: 'kay, maybe I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the past. Sorry, Rach.

Monica: (to Rachel) Was there that much garbage?

[Scene: Joey's apartment. The transformation is amazing, the place looks normal. Chandler and Joey both beam with pride.]

Chandler: Well, I thought we were fighting a losing battle for a while there. (Laughing) When the duck got stuck under Trash Heap 5, I feared the worst. (Joey's watch beeps.)

Joey: Woah, we finished just in time. I almost forgot, Nicks game tonight!! (He and Chandler high-five.)

Chandler: Well, let's go then. (They walk to the door to leave...but they can't find the door. It's completely hidden by an immense number of trash bags, blocking their exit.)

Ending Credits

[Scene: Central Perk. The whole gang is there. Ross is giving an immensely boring talk about what he's going to do with his life. Throughout this talk, one by one the gang approach Gunther and hand him a dollar bill. Gunther puts their bets onto the chalkboard. They return to their seats, trying to look deeply engrossed in what Ross is saying.]