The One With Purple Haze

Written by: Firestorm17

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.

{This is a warning. This is not your usual Friends episode. In fact, this episode would not ever happen on the actual show. However, since I'm writing this, I'm going for it. As this fanfic deals with a controversial issue, only people prepared to deal with it should read this. The issue, part of it anyway, deals with the return of Chandler's father. If you watch the show, you know what the deal is with Chandler's father. If you cannot deal with that, please hit the "Back" button now rather than write me irate letters. For the purposes of this fanfic, Chandler's dad's first name is Matthew, after my friend Matthew, who I thought was gay right up until he spent a considerable portion of Lit class giving anyone who would listen a running commentary on the professor's breasts. If you're reading this, Matt, I love you, man. More than you know. Also, this is just my opinion of a good story line. I am very aware that people are going to disagree with me. By the way, this is also supposed to be a Thanksgiving show.}

[Joey's agent's office. Estelle (EST) is trying to let Joey down easy. Joey won't let her.]

JOEY: Come on, Estelle. Isn't there anything out there for me?

EST: You'll just say "no" again, but gay porn?

JOEY: (ignoring that last offer) I didn't think so.

EST: (reluctant to do this) There is one thing, but you're not the right type.

JOEY: Estelle, I'm desperate here! Whatever it is, I can do it.

EST: (giving in) Oh, all right. Are you familiar with the show "Laughing Out Loud"?

JOEY: (puzzled) No.

EST: (under her breath) Thank God.

Opening theme.

[Central Perk. The whole gang, except Joey, is there. The usual friends are talking amongst themselves. Robyn is trying to talk on her cell phone.]

ROBYN: (into the phone) So it just froze up on you?

ROSS: Spiderman is totally cooler than Batman!

ROBYN: (politely, to the friends) Guys, I'm on the phone. (into the phone) Did you try hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL? Nothing, huh?

CHAN: How can you say that, man? There's no Spidermobile.

ROBYN: (to the guys, with controlled anger) I am on the phone. (normally, into the phone) Sorry about that. Anyway, try clicking on "Start." Your mouse isn't working either?

ROSS: He doesn't need a Spidermobile!

ROBYN: (with controlled annoyance) Bruce, could you hang on for just a second? (whispers, overtly angry) Do you guys mind? I am on the phone with the Boss!

MON: (whispers) The president of your company?

ROBYN: (whispers, tone unclear) No, Bruce Springsteen.

MON: (offended) Fine, be that way.

ROBYN: Okay, Bruce, I'm back. Now look at the back of the computer. (pause) Then take it out. Is the mouse cord plugged into the back of the computer? (pause) Okay, plug it back in. Does it work now? Great! You're welcome. I'll just let you get back to work on your song. Okay, I'll send you my bill. Sure, call me anytime. Bye. (hangs up, notices everybody looking at her) What?

MON: How do you know Bruce Springsteen?

ROBYN: I helped him install Windows 95. (They don't stop staring at her) Just because I'm CEO doesn't mean I don't do the work.

ROSS: Excuse me?

ROBYN: You guys know those ads for (They all answer in the affirmative, then all look at Robyn.) Guilty. (sees the shock still on their faces.) What? I don't know what any of you do? I mean, I know what Joey does, but that's only because I never miss Days.

ROSS: Well, I guess that's fair. I'm a paleontologist.

ROBYN: Cool, so you work with dinosaurs?

ROSS: Yes. I am a dinosaur dude.

ROBYN: (rolls her eyes) That's good. What do you do, Monica?

MON: I'm head chef at a restaurant downtown.

ROBYN: Great, That's probably very fulfilling. Phoebe?

PHOEBE: I'm a singer now. I used to be a masseuse before they thought I was a whore.

ROBYN: (decides against pursuing this) Okay. And what do you do, Rachel?

RACH: I'm a personal shopper at Bloomingdales.

ROBYN: Employee discount?

RACH: Yeah.

ROBYN: Right on. How about you, Chandler?

CHAN: I'm a data processor. Actually, processing supervisor now.

ROBYN: Hmm. And what exactly does that entail?

CHAN: Well, I spend most of my time worrying about the WENUS.

ROBYN: You know, there are pills you can take for that now.

CHAN: (sighs) No, that's an acronym for-

ROBYN: Weekly Estimated Net Usage Statistics. (Chandler is, needless to say, shocked) I've worked with data processors before, but if I let a setup like that pass, I'd be kicked right out of the Clever Comebacks Club.

CHAN: I understand. They'd have made you turn in your big red nose and everything.

ROBYN: (laughs) So are you guys still planning on telling your parents tomorrow?

CHAN: Yeah, we figure that if we're going to bring in my mom and Monica's parents on the same day, we'd pick a day that was ruined already.

ROBYN: Ruined? Thanksgiving?

MON: Long story. One year, his parents announced their divorce over dessert. And then another year, I was trying to seduce him, and I accidentally cut off his toe. (to Chandler) Sorry about that.

CHAN: I forgive you, honey. (beat) You were trying to seduce me?

MON: It looks to me like I succeeded. (kisses Chandler.)

ROBYN: (unsure that she should be watching this) So you're really going to spring this on your parents over Thanksgiving dinner?

CHAN: (stops kissing Monica) We really are. (pause) You know, in a way, I wish my dad was going to be there. It'd be ironic or something, me surprising him on Thanksgiving.

ROBYN: (nodding in agreement) Yeah, I guess it would. (Realization dawns on her.) Wait a second. Is your dad, by any chance, Matthew Bing who runs Viva Las Gaygas?

CHAN: You know my dad?

ROBYN: Know him? I helped him set up!

ROSS: (interrupting) There's a

ROBYN: (shrugs) Dot-com was taken. Anyway, when I left Vegas last September, he gave me his home number, said to call him anytime. Do you want me to give him a call?

CHAN: Would you?

ROBYN: Sure, I'll call him this afternoon.

CHAN: Thanks.

[Joey walks in and comes over, back from his audition for "Laughing Out Loud". He looks very dejected.]

RACH: How'd your audition go?

JOEY: I didn't get the part. (Everyone except Robyn is waiting for it.)

ROBYN: You'll get it next time, Joe. Don't beat yourself up over this.

JOEY: I won't because (can't keep the act up any longer) I got the part!

ROBYN: (to Chandler) Does he do that often?

CHAN: You have no idea.

ROBYN: So where are we going to be seeing you, Joey?

JOEY: On this sitcom on NBC, "Laughing Out Loud".

ROBYN: (clearly, she knows the show) You watch "Laughing Out Loud", Joe?

JOEY: No, why?

ROBYN: No reason.

CHAN: So who are you playing?

JOEY: I'll be playing Tony, Jamie's new boyfriend.

ROBYN: That makes you the seventh this season. Jamie certainly has a lot of boyfriends, doesn't (notices that Chandler is signaling her to stop) Jamie?

JOEY: Whatever. Anyway, we're going to be shooting all day tomorrow, so I won't be able to come over for Thanksgiving.

MON: That's okay, Joey.

JOEY: Well, I have to get back to rehearsing. I'll see you guys later.

ALL: Bye, Joey. (Joey leaves.)

ROBYN: Okay, what was all that about?

CHAN: (playing innocent) What was all what about?

ROBYN: Why didn't you let me tell him that-

CHAN: (doing what Joey call "There's a fishhook in my eyebrow, and I like it.) It's much funnier this way.

ROBYN: (trying and eventually failing to keep a straight face) You are evil, Chandler Bing.

CHAN: You should have seen it when I got him to change his stage name to Holden McGroin.

ROBYN: (forgoes any pretense of not laughing, and then composes herself enough to talk) Monica, no offense, but if you weren't dating him, I would! (Monica gives her the evil eye.) But I won't.


[Robyn's apartment. Robyn is at her top-of-the-line computer, using her equally cool cell phone.]

ROBYN: (counts off the number of times the phone rings on her fingers, someone picks up at four) Hello? Oh, hi, (pauses to remember a name) Jason. Could you get Matthew? (listens, sighs) Okay, now give the phone to him. (no audio) I swear.

[The screen splits in half to show the other end of Robyn's conversation. Chandler's dad (MATT), who is played by Eric McCormack, is in his own apartment and wearing a desert print shirt and blue jeans]

MATT: Hello, who is this?

ROBYN: What do you mean, "Who is this?"? It's me!

MATT: Oh, my God. Robyn? It's been so long. Where are you?

ROBYN: Right now, I'm speaking to you direct from the Big Apple.

MATT: Really? So you're still living like a gypsy?

ROBYN: You know how it is; you're born in the wagon of a traveling show. . . (Matthew laughs at this.) See, this is what I like about you. You're smart, you're funny, and you get all my Cher jokes.

MATT: You know what they say: Cher and Cher alike.

ROBYN: (laughs and then finishes) So, do you have any big plans for the holiday tomorrow?

MATT: Well, I was thinking I'd get really drunk and try to forget the fact that everyone in America is celebrating the worst day of my life.

ROBYN: (sympathetic) It still hurts, doesn't it?

MATT: They denied joint custody! It was like they were saying that the way I live my life makes me an unfit father.

ROBYN: I know, honey. It's not fair.

MATT: And on Thanksgiving of all days!

ROBYN: Matthew, I've heard enough. I can't leave you out there alone when you're like this. (enters a few keystrokes on her computer.)

MATT: You're coming out here?

ROBYN: Close, I'm having you flown over here.

MATT: What?

ROBYN: How soon can you be packed and at the airport?

MATT: Robyn, you so don't have to do this!

ROBYN: Like hell I don't. Does three hours sound all right to you?

MATT: (upset) Robyn! What would I do in New York?

ROBYN: My upstairs neighbors are inviting me to dinner, and they said I should bring a date. (beat) Since I couldn't find one-

MATT: Hey!

ROBYN: Just kidding. Anyway, I am not taking "no" for an answer here. Your ticket is at the airport; your flight is at four. You will be on it, understand?

MATT: All right, all right. (pause) Your friends do know I don't eat turkey, right?

ROBYN: Don't worry. I'm sure they'll have something else.

[Monica and Rachel's apartment. The usual gang except for Joey is there; as is Robyn. Robyn, Ross, Rachel and Phoebe are more or less calm. No one else is. Chandler is pacing a hole in the floor. Monica's checking on the turkey is bordering on obsessive-compulsive. Phoebe is looking out the window.]

PHOEBE: Ew! Ugly Naked Guy's making Thanksgiving dinner!

ROBYN: What? (looks where Phoebe is looking) Whoa! That is one big butterball. (beat) Pretty big turkey he's got there, too.

CHAN: So, Robyn, when's my dad going to get here?

ROBYN: Chandler, for the fourth time, he'll be up (looks at her watch) any minute now.

[There's a knock at the door. Chandler goes to answer it, but Robyn stops him.]

ROBYN: I'll get the door; you try to calm down. (looks through the peephole, then lets Mr. Bing in) Everybody, say hi to my friend Matthew. (They do.)

CHAN: (overwhelmed) Dad.

MATT: (shocked) Chandler? Is that really you, after all this time? (looks at Robyn) Did you know about this?

ROBYN: (weakly) Surprise?

CHAN: (after he and his father just stare at each other a few seconds) I missed you, Dad. (big father-son hug)

MATT: (all choked up) I missed you too, son. (The hug ends.)

MON: (standing behind Chandler) Ahem. (They both look at her.) Hi. (waves)

CHAN: Dad, this is Monica. Monica, this is my dad. (takes Monica's hand)

MATT: (understands, smiles) It's great to meet you Monica. (pause) So how did you meet Chandler?

MON: (nervous) Well, he went to college with my brother, Ross. (Ross waves.) And he lives across the hall. Then, he was the best man at Ross's wedding, and I was a bridesmaid, and one thing led to another. . .

ROSS: (stands up) Since the wedding?

MON: Ross, calm down.

ROSS: (getting angry) Since my wedding?

ROBYN: Ross, let it go.

ROSS: (as "Red Ross") Please say my wedding to Emily!

RACH: Ross? (puts an arm around him and sits him back down. Ross backs down.) So. . , it's nice to meet you, Mr. Bing.

MATT: It's a pleasure to meet you too, Emily.

[Very awkward silence]

CHAN: (quietly, to Monica) This is still going better than I thought it would.

[The same place, about fifteen minutes later.]

MATT: Again, Rachel, I am so sorry.

RACH: That's all right. So you thought I was Ross's wife. No big deal.

ROBYN: (to Monica) All right, Mon. Your parents will be here in five minutes. Are you okay?

MON: Yes.

ROBYN: Are you ready for this?

MON: Yes.

ROBYN: Are you psyched?

MON: Yeah. I'm ready. I'm psyched. I'm (The doorbell rings) going to be sick! (runs for the bathroom.)

[Rachel lets the elder Gellers in. Mrs. Geller goes over to the coffee table, picks up a cup and puts it on a coaster.]

ROBYN: You must be Monica's parents. Hi, I'm- (stops. thinks better of it) I mean, my name is Robyn Banks. It's so nice to meet you, Mr. And Mrs. Geller.

JACK: Please, call us Jack and Judy.

ROBYN: All right, . .Jack.

MON: (comes out of the bathroom and attempts to look adult and mature.) Hi, Mom.

JUDY: Dear, you should really do something about your breath.


[About half an hour later. The set of "Laughing Out Loud". An increasing irritated director is glaring at and tapping his watch.]

DIR: Where is that two-bit hack?

JOEY: I'm right here, man.

DIR: Not you. (to an assistant) Where the hell is our Jamie?

[At this point, "Jamie" walks in, bearing dry cleaning. He, repeat he, is played by Sean Hayes. "Jamie" is just the character's name. The actor's name is Jeff.]

JEFF: Keep your pants on, Arnold; your Jamie is in the house. (beat) Actually, it might work better if you took them off! (laughs suggestively)

DIR: Whatever. Jeff, this is Joey. He's be playing Tony.

JEFF: (suggestively) Really?

[Monica and Rachel's apartment. Judy is driving Monica crazy.]

JUDY: So Monica, are you seeing anyone now?

MON: Well, actually-

CHAN: (comes over) Hi, Mrs. Geller.

JUDY: Monica, it's very sweet that you still invite the boy who hates Thanksgiving over for the holidays, but don't you think-

MON: (very nervous) Mom, could you excuse me for a second? (runs for the bathroom again)

[After a short but awkward silence, a phone starts ringing]

ROBYN: (realizes which phone it is) That's me. I got it. (answers the phone) Talk to me.

[The screen splits to reveal the caller as Joey.]

JOEY: Robyn, I kind of have a problem.

ROBYN: What's the problem?

JOEY: I'm a the filming and I have to kiss this guy.

ROBYN: Been a while, huh?

JOEY: No, as part of the show.

ROBYN: All right, all joking aside. Are you having a problem because you've never kissed a guy before?

[Joey's mind. He remembers kissing Chandler in TOW The Monkey and kissing Ross in TOW Barry and Mindy's Wedding. Then he comes back to reality.]

JOEY: Er, yeah. That's right.

ROBYN: Listen, Joe. You're a professional, right?

JOEY: Right . .

ROBYN: And you really need this job?

JOEY: Yeah!

ROBYN: So just do it. It'll only be acting. I mean, you don't sleep with every girl you kiss on TV either, right?

JOEY: (total silence)

ROBYN: Never mind. Forgot who I was talking to. But you know what I mean.

JOEY: Right. Thanks, Robyn. (hangs up)

[The scene switches back to the girls' apartment as Robyn puts her phone away.]

ROBYN: That was Joey. He says hi. (There is a knock at the door.) I'll get it. (She opens the door and lets in Mrs. Bing.) Nora Bing, I presume?

NORA: Of course. And you are?

ROBYN: (completely normally) Robyn Banks. Yeah, I know. I live downstairs. I know you have probably heard this a million times over, but I have read literally all your books. (At this point, Matthew notices that his ex-wife has arrived and stares in horror.) I mean, in high school, I would have flunked sex ed without them. (Mrs. Bing finds that amusing.) As it was, my teacher just got kind of ticked when I called it the "manhood." (Both of them laugh. Matthew decides that this would be a good time to sneak out of the apartment. The plan fails.)

NORA: (somewhat amazed) Matthew!

MATT: (embarrassed) Hello, Nora.

ROBYN: (way too casually) Oh, you two know each other?

MATT: (intensely but controlledly angry) Robyn, can I see you for a minute? (takes her by the wrist and leads her out the door)

ROBYN: (leans back in) I'll be right back. (Matthew pulls her back out the door and closes it.)

MATT: Robyn, you have some explaining to do.

ROBYN: Would you believe it if I said I wanted to be in the show?

MATT: This isn't funny! How could you do this to me?

ROBYN: Well first, I called you on the phone and-

MATT: (incredibly angry) Robyn!

ROBYN: Look, did you or did you not tell me that the way you left things with Nora was the biggest mistake of your life?

MATT: This is ridic-

ROBYN: Answer the question.

MATT: Yeah, but-

ROBYN: That's right, and I know it had to be rather serious to beat out that tattoo on your butt.

MATT: (defensive) I'll have you know-

ROBYN: Save it. I mean, maybe if you knew someone named Ryan. . . Now, you are going back in there, and you are going to be civil to your ex-wife. You hear me?

MATT: All right, I'll do it. (goes back in.)

ROBYN: Good. (goes back in.)


[The set of "Laughing Out Loud". They are again waiting on Jeff, who is taking forever in makeup. The director is again impatient.]

DIR: (takes his eyes off his watch. to Joey) Want some advice, kid? Never hire a guy just because he slept with you.

JOEY: Okay.

[Jeff comes out of makeup, looking exactly the same as before.]

DIR: It's about time!

JEFF: Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, Arnie.

DIR: (sighs from exasperation) Let's just do this, people.

[Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" plays, covering all other audio. Joey and Jeff try to get through their scenes, but Joey keeps goofing up. First, he tries talking with his hands, in a somewhat cliched manner, which ends up being darn hilarious because he doesn't let his wrists bend. Then, they try a scene where the two characters are sitting together on a sofa talking, which Joey ruins by failing to pretends that he's comfortable with a guy putting an arm around him. Then, they try the kissing scene, which looks a lot like family members kissing, the name of the family being Corleon. Then, they try all the preceding scenes again. This time, they are all done perfectly and with actual chemistry, especially the kissing scene, which leaves both actors breathless. At that point, music stops and the real audio of the scene is heard.]

DIR: Cut and print. That's a wrap, boys. You did good out there. Cast party's in the lounge, which is good because I so need a drink. (Everyone leaves for the party.)

[Monica and Rachel's place. Everyone is sitting at the table, except Monica who is standing so she can carve the turkey. Chandler and his dad have macaroni and cheese instead. They're going around the table telling what they are thankful for.]

ROBYN: . . .and finally, I'm thankful to Monica for inviting me to dinner because I am famished.

MATT: No argument here.

CHAN: Could I be any more hungry?

NORA: Actually, I'm looking forward to dinner myself. I had Chinese for lunch, and I'm always hungry an hour later.

ROBYN: Really? What did you have?

NORA: Kung Pao Chicken. (It gets really quiet while Chandler and his dad turn slightly green.)

MATT: On second thought, I'm not all that hungry.

CHAN: Yeah, I had a big lunch, and. . .

ROBYN: (sensing that she should change the subject) Monica, what are you thankful for?

MON: (masking her nervousness with false cheer) Oh, so many things.

JUDY: You know, you might have a lot more to be thankful for if you'd just do something with your hair.

MON: Could you excuse me for a second? (runs for the bathroom, goes in, and throws up)

JUDY: Goodness, what's gotten into her?

RACH: You want to take that one, Chandler? (Chandler glares at her.)

[The cast party in the studio lounge. Everybody except Don, the bartender, is very "cheerful". Joey and Jeff are there. Joey is a little more out of it than Jeff, due to the intrinsic differences between tequila shooters and Margaritas, but neither one of them would be okay to drive. Jeff is in the middle of telling Joey a really good story.]

JEFF: So then he says, "People like you should be hung!"

JOEY: What did you do?

JEFF: (takes a drink of his Margarita) I looked right at the guy, and I said, "Honey, I already am."

JOEY: (laughs) That was great.

JEFF: I know. I don't let people push me around anymore.

JOEY: Dude, you are so cool. (to bartender) Another round over here.

DON: Forget it. You've had enough.

JEFF: No, we haven't.

DON: Like hell you haven't. Your buddy there just led this whole place in a heartfelt rendition of "Space Oddity."

JOEY: (laughs, then starts singing) "This is ground control to Major Tom."

DON: You see? Now the two of you are going home, and I don't want to hear any arguments out of you.

JOEY: (continues singing) "Commencing countdown, engines on"

DON: Get him out of here, will ya?

JEFF: Let's go, Joey. Hey, why don't we share a cab, good buddy? (He steers Joey, who is still singing, out of the lounge.)

[Monica and Rachel's apartment. They've all finished dinner and are sitting around talking. Mr. Geller is "resting" on the sofa. Monica still hasn't told her parents. Judy is talking to Robyn.]

JUDY: So Robyn, Monica isn't seeing anyone right now, is she? Because I-

ROBYN: Actually, Mrs. Geller, I- I know that I haven't known Monica all that long, and this is going to seem way out of line, but-

JUDY: (sighs and shakes her head) Well, I guess I did tell her that at least that would be something.

ROBYN: What? (She realizes what Mrs. Geller means.) No! Nothing like that! I just meant that one of my clients has a son Monica's age, and I really think they'd hit it off.

JUDY: Well, what's this boy like?

ROBYN: Let's see. He's smart. He's funny. (She signals for Monica and Chandler to come over.) He has a nice, stable job. (Monica and Chandler finish coming over.) He's also right here. Monica, you know Chandler, right? (Judy looks at them and breaks out laughing.)

MON: What's so funny?

JUDY: Your friend here thinks you should go out with Chandler. I mean really, you and Chandler?

MON: Well actually, Mom. . . (She takes Chandler's hand and gives it an intimate little squeeze.)

JUDY: (suddenly stops laughing) Jack!

ROBYN: Mrs. Geller, you're overreacting.

JUDY: Jack! (Mr. Geller gets up from the couch and joins them.) Your daughter is dating the boy who hates Thanksgiving!

JACK: What?

MON: Yes, it's true. (raises her voice) Everybody, Chandler and I are dating!

NORA: Oh, I always knew they'd get together.

MATT: (next to her) Nora, this isn't the time.

JACK: (to Chandler) You're dating my daughter?

CHAN: (terrified) Mr. Geller, I can explain-

JACK: (very angry) You're dating my little Harmonica?

CHAN: There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this. We were in London and-

JACK: (losing it) In London?

MON: Dad, this is not how it looks.

CHAN: You see. . .

ROBYN: Chandler, I'm assuming you want to live, so I suggest you run.

CHAN: Good plan.

MATT: (He watches his son run out of the apartment.) And the tradition continues.


[Teaser: Robyn's apartment, early the next morning. Robyn answers a knock at the door and lets in Monica.]

MON: Do you mind if I use your bathroom? I'm going to throw up again.

ROBYN: Go right ahead. (Monica goes into the bathroom.) You really don't have to be this nervous anymore. After your dad stopped saying that he was going to kill Chandler, I think your parents really started to warm to the idea.

MON: I'm not nervous.

ROBYN: Come on, Monica. Why else would you have been sick all morning- Sweet Mother of God. (Robyn puts a hand to the wall for balance. Her phone rings a couple of times before she even notices. When she does notice, she answers it.) Talk to me.

[The scene cuts to Jeff's apartment, where Joey is in bed talking on the phone next to a sleeping Jeff.]

JOEY: Robyn, I kind of have another problem.