The One With The Commercial

by Becky G.

Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just borrowing them from Crane and Kaufman.

This takes place after The One With Inappropriate Sister.

[Scene: Central Perk. It's night, and the place is about to close. The group watches Gunther and a waitress wipe down tables.]

Phoebe: I miss being here after it closed, you know, that sneaky feeling that you were somewhere you weren't supposed to be.

Joey: Well, I'm sure Rachel here will be happy to get her old waitressing job back.

(Rachel punches him on the arm.)

Gunther: You guys are going to have to leave now.

Group: All right. Okay.

(They stand to leave).

Ross: See you in the morning, Gunther.

(Gunther smiles and nods, but makes a face at Ross the moment his back is turned).

Chandler: See you in the morning?

Ross: Well you know, I don't have anything else to do now. Besides, I like it here.

Gunther: (muttering) Yeah, I know. If we didn't close, you'd never leave.

Monica: What was that, Gunther?

Gunther: (brightly) Just saying good night!

Group: Okay. Good night.

(They exit, and Gunther sticks his tongue out at the closed door.)

Opening Credits

[Scene: The hallway between the girls' and guys' apartments.]

(It is obviously the next morning. Chandler exits his apartment and turns around to lock the door. Something pokes him in the back, pushing him up against the door. In terror he drops his keys and briefcase and holds up his hands.)

Chandler: Aaah! Take anything you want, just don't kill me!

(A pair of hands with long, red fingernails grabs his shoulders and spins him around, then he is soundly kissed before being released. Both Chandler and the audience realize who our mystery woman is at the same time).

Chandler: Janice!

Janice: Welcome home, Chandler Bing. (sarcastically) How was Yemen?

Chandler: Ah, um, ah... (He throws a worried glance at the door to the girls' apartment, which mercifully stays closed.)

Janice: Are you stammering because you're stunned speechless to see me, or because you're working on a new lie to tell me?

Chandler: I--what are you doing here? How did you get in?

Janice: What am I doing here? (she sidles forward, putting her arms around Chandler's neck) Why do you think I'm here?

Chandler: I don't think this is a very good idea, Janice.

(He tries to duck out from her embrace, but she backs up with him, until his back is to the door.)

Janice: Face it, Chandler Bing. There's no escaping me. I'm like one of those Chinese finger puzzles. The more you try to pull away from me, the closer I get.

Chandler: You probably don't want to get too close. I didn't brush my teeth this morning.

(And here it is... Janice laughs. We all cringe along with Chandler.)

Janice: I know. I can tell. I don't care.

(She leans in to kiss him and abruptly the door behind them opens, spilling them both backwards into the apartment. They land on the floor, at Joey's feet, with Janice on top of Chandler.)

Joey: (shakes his head) I gotta stop eating cheese before I go to bed.

(Chandler and Janice scramble to their feet).

Janice: Good morning, Joey! (she throws him an air kiss)

(Joey recoils and brushes at his cheek)

Joey: Aah! Oh my God! She's real! Janice is real!

Janice: (laughing) You better believe I'm real. And I'm here to stay this time.

Chandler: Oh no, you're not. (he takes her elbow and tries to guide her out of the apartment)

Janice: (pulling away) You're not getting rid of me that easily, Chandler Bing.

Chandler: (at the end of his patience) Look, I'm only gonna say this once. This is not going to work, Janice. I'm seeing someone else. Someone not you. And...I have to go to work, Janice. When I come back, I don't want to see you here. Okay?

(He goes into the hall, retrieves his keys and briefcase, then leaves. Joey and Janice stare at each other for a long moment.)

Janice: So...

(Ross enters the living room, having just left the bathroom. He's in his bathrobe and his hair is wet. He throws a glance at the door.)

Ross: Mornin'.

(Suddenly he realizes what he just saw, and does his classic Ross double take.)

Ross: Oh. My. God.

[Scene: A New York street corner. Phoebe and Frank Jr. sit on a bench. A van with the words "Relaxi-Taxi" painted on the side is parked at the curb.]

Frank Jr. (pointing) Hey, look. That guy's getting his ass kicked by that hooker!

(He and Phoebe stare across the street, wincing together at the sight).

Phoebe: (sighing) You know, I thought this was going to be so much different from the way it is.

Frank Jr: What do you mean?

Phoebe: When we decided to do this, did you picture yourself sitting on the street corner for most of the day?

Frank Jr: Well, no. But, that's okay, you know?

Phoebe: How is that okay?

Frank Jr: If we're not using the van, we don't have to pay for gas!

Phoebe: We have got to find a way to make more business. (suddenly stands up) Ooh! I know!

[Time lapse. Phoebe is now wearing a sandwich board, advertising for the Relaxi-Taxi. She walks up and down the sidewalk, calling out.]

Phoebe: That's right, folks! Take a ride in the Relaxi-Taxi! We'll get you to your destination on time. And you'll be the most relaxed you've ever been!

Frank Jr: And yeah, can even listen to whatever radio station you want.

Phoebe: Yes! That's it! Step right up folks! Who wants to be the first to ride in the Relaxi-Taxi?

(A uniformed cop walks up to Phoebe.)

Cop: Excuse me, ma'am. Can I see your permit?

Phoebe: My what?

Cop: You can't just sit here and sell stuff, ma'am. You need a vendor's permit to do that.

Frank Jr: Oh, see we're not sellin'. We're just advertising, you know, because business is slow.

Cop: Then take out an ad. (points to Phoebe) I don't want to see you out here again without a permit.

(He walks off and Phoebe takes off the sandwich board.)

Frank Jr: Oh man, this sucks! I really thought he was going to be our first customer!

[Scene: Monica and Rachel's Apartment. The girls are just getting ready to leave for work.]

Monica: Don't forget to get the mail when you come home, Rach. I was late paying the phone bill because of you.

Rachel: Mon, you have a whole month to pay that bill! Besides, you could have checked the mail yourself!

Monica: You come home first, so it's your job to get the mail.

Rachel: Fine.

(The door opens, and Ross pokes his head in.)

Ross: Can I come in?

Monica and Rachel: Sure, come on--

(Ross opens the door all the way, and enters, closely followed by Janice. The girls stop talking in shock.)

Janice: Good morning!

Rachel: Janice!

Janice: Ahh! (she runs forward and gives the girls a hug)

Monica: (weakly) Look, it's Janice.

Ross: It sure is. Listen, I was going out for a while. Is it okay if Janice hangs out here?

Monica: What? Where-- Wh--?

Rachel: What I think Mon is trying to say is that we have to go to work. You, on the other hand, have no pressing engagements on your schedule.

Ross: Yeah, I do.

Rachel: Going to the coffeehouse does not count, Ross.

Janice: Listen, nobody has to babysit me. I've got my own things to do today, anyway. I just wanted to say hi, before I went out.

(She goes to the door and waves, then leaves.)

Rachel: Oh my God. We have really got to get Chandler a different girlfriend.

Monica: (faintly) Yeah.

Ross: Well, I'm off! (He leaves.)

(Rachel walks to the door and stops when she realizes Monica is not coming.)

Rachel: Mon, you coming?

Monica: What?

Rachel: You know, work? Allesandro's? That place where they all hate you?

Monica: Oh yeah. (She takes a deep breath, then follows Rachel out the door).

[Commercial break. Today's episode is brought to you by Mountain Dew--godsend to those writers who stay up late to work on their stories and who are in dire need of caffeine. <g>]

[Scene: The same New York street corner. Phoebe and Frank Jr. sit on the same bench.]

Frank Jr: Maybe that cop was right. Maybe we should do some advertising.

Phoebe: How are we going to do that? If we had the money to advertise, we wouldn't *need* to advertise, because we'd be making enough money.

Frank Jr: Wait. At my old high school, where Alice teaches, they've got this Audio-Visual Club. It's all these geeks playing around with video cameras and computers and stuff. Maybe we could get them to help us.

Phoebe: (excited) Oh! We can make a commercial!

Frank Jr: Yeah, and, and we can show people getting a ride, you know, in the Relaxi-Taxi, and how it works.

Phoebe: Yeah! And then everyone will want one!

Frank Jr: Oh, but we need a phone number.

Phoebe: What?

Frank Jr: Well, you know how in those commercials, they always flash their phone number across the bottom of the screen. We need one so we can do that.

(Phoebe looks around, and sees a phone booth not far from their bench)

Phoebe: We'll use that phone number! (pointing) And then we'll need to hire some actors. You know, to be in the commercial.

Frank Jr: Oh, can we get Tom Cruise to play me?

Phoebe: No! Not for us! We're going to be in the commercial. Oh! And I can ask my friends to be in it. They can play the satisfied customers! (jumping up) Oh, yay! This will be so much fun!

Frank Jr: (laughing his stuttering laugh--you know the one) Yeah.

Phoebe: Oh, let's go to the school! Let's go right now.

Frank Jr: Shouldn't we wait? I mean, we might get a customer or something.

(Phoebe rolls her eyes and drags Frank Jr. off the bench and toward the van.)

[Scene: The hallway between the guys' and girls' apartments.]

(Chandler comes up the stairs, home from work. Tentatively he unlocks the door to his apartment and enters. The apartment is empty, and he visibly sags with relief. He turns to shut the door, and from across the hall, we hear loud laughter. Loud Janice laughter. Chandler winces and beats his head against the door frame.)

Joey: (entering from his bedroom) What are you doing?

Chandler: (startled) Ah! (trying to regain his composure) Hey, what's up?

Joey: What's up? You're asking *me* what's up? Janice is over there with Monica and Rachel, right now. Why don't *you* tell me what's up?

Chandler: Look, this is not my fault, okay? She just showed up this morning. It's not like I called her or anything.

Joey: You gotta get rid of her! I've been afraid to leave my room the whole day! And I really had to pee earlier!

(Chandler gives Joey his "what are you talking about?" look, then obviously decides he doesn't want to know.)

Chandler: Look, what am I gonna do?

Joey: You're gonna march over there and tell Janice to leave. Tell her it's not gonna happen between you two.

Chandler: I did tell her! I told her I was seeing someone else. She wouldn't listen to me.

Joey: That's 'cause she thinks you're lying to her again.

Chandler: Oh God. (sighs) You know, I always thought it would be cool to have two women want me. But this...this is a nightmare!

Joey: Then wake up and smell the coffee, man! Get rid of Janice!

Chandler: All right, all right! I will. I'm gonna do it. (he starts walking over to the girls' apartment) I'm gonna go over there and--(beat) Hey, aren't you coming?

Joey: Do I have to?

(Chandler glares at Joey, who makes a face, before following him.)

[Scene: Monica and Rachel's Apartment. Janice, Rachel and Ross sit on the couch, watching TV. Monica is at the stove, slowly stirring something in a large pot.]

(The guys enter.)

Janice: There he is! (to Chandler) I see you didn't jump on the nearest airplane to Yemen again.

Chandler: Ha ha, Janice. Hey Janice--

Janice: Oh, I didn't ask. Did you meet this new secret girlfriend of yours in Yemen? Or on the plane, maybe? Is she a stewardess?

Rachel: New secret girlfriend??

(Rachel, Ross and Janice all turn themselves around on the couch so they are staring at Chandler and Joey, who stand in the kitchen).

Ross: Wow, a secret girlfriend. She must be an invisible girlfriend, too, 'cause you sure haven't had her up to the apartment.

(Chandler glances at Monica, who stands by the stove, saying nothing.)

Chandler: She's not invisible. In fact, she--she's very beautiful.

Ross: Yeah, invisible secret girlfriends usually are.

(Everyone but Monica laughs. Chandler gives Joey an agonized look.)

Joey: Um, she--she is beautiful. I know because, because I met her.

Rachel: What?

Janice: (standing up) Chandler! Is there someone else?

Chandler: Yes! Yes, there is. I tried to tell you that this morning, but you wouldn't believe me.

Janice: But there can't be anyone else. You and I were meant to be together.

Chandler: Not in *this* life we weren't.

(Janice gets off the couch and walks over to Chandler. She kisses him passionately. Ross and Rachel exchange looks of gushy sentiment. Joey turns away in disgust and Monica stares at the floor.)

Janice: Tell me you didn't feel that. We belong together. And you know it.

Chandler: No, Janice. I already told you. There's someone else. (he clears his throat and glances at Monica nervously) She's beautiful, and funny, and smart, and she makes me happy. I just want to be with her. I--I love her. (He looks at Monica as he says this last bit, and she smiles at him. Gathering his courage, Chandler walks over to Monica and puts his arm around her.) So you see, Janice, this just isn't going to work out.

(Joey goes over and opens the door.)

Joey: Bye-bye, Janice.

(The audience applauds wildly. Janice stands still, stunned.)

(Phoebe and Frank Jr. enter then, coming through the open door).

Phoebe: Guess what, you guys!

Frank Jr: We're gonna be on TV!

Phoebe: We're making a commercial!

Frank Jr: And you guys can be in it! (seeing Janice) Except for you. I don't know you.

Phoebe: Janice! Hi! Oh, she can be in it, too! Oh, yay!

(She hops around, excited. No one else moves.)

Commercial break

[Scene: Where we left off.]

(Chandler and Monica stand together in the kitchen, arms around each other. Ross and Rachel sit on the couch, mouths open, staring. Joey stands by the door, grinning. Phoebe and Frank Jr. are clueless.)

Janice: Well. Okay, then. (she shakes her head, then suddenly smiles. She stares at Chandler with fond patience.) At least this is better than pretending to move to Yemen.

(Behind her, Joey stands up straight in shock, the grin disappearing from his face. He and Chandler exchange horrified looks.)

Chandler: Oh no no no no. I'm not pretending.

Joey: He's not, really.

(Janice starts to laugh softly).

Ross: (getting up) He's pretending, right? Chandler?

Monica: I'm sorry we had to tell you guys this way. This isn't how we planned it.

Chandler: Actually, we sort of hadn't planned on telling you at all.

Rachel: You mean--?

Ross: (to Chandler) My sister is your secret new girlfriend?

Janice: You guys don't really believe that, do you? This is just another Chandler Bing excuse to get rid of me.

Joey: Oh, no it's not.

Monica: (to Janice) Maybe you should go.

Ross: No, why should she go? She's Chandler's girlfriend. Not you. Not--not my sister.

Rachel: Ross, you can't--

Monica: Don't tell me what--

Joey: Shouldn't we--

(Everyone begins talking and arguing loudly).

Frank Jr: (quietly, to Phoebe) Does this mean we don't get to make our commercial?

(Phoebe shushes him with a glare).

Phoebe: Wait a minute! Stop it! You--(points at Ross)--sit down! You--(points to Janice)--I'm sorry, but you're going to have to go. It doesn't look like Chandler wants you to be his girlfriend, and besides, there isn't enough room in the van for all of you, so I guess you'll just have to go. (she ushers Janice through the door, which Joey is still holding open.)

Frank Jr: (shouting through the door) Be sure to look for our commercial on Channel 86!

(Joey shuts the door, to applause from the audience).

Phoebe: Now. Maybe you--(points to Chandler), and you--(points to Monica) can explain what is going on here.

Ross: (tightly) Yes, explain it, please.

(Chandler and Monica exchange looks.)

Monica: Well, when we were in London for--

Ross: In London??

Monica: (continuing) Ross' wedding, we--

Ross: At my wedding!?

Chandler: Okay, you're going to have to let us talk without interrupting if you want to hear this.

Ross: I don't know if I want to hear this.

Joey: Come on, Ross. Hear 'em out.

Rachel: You knew about this?

Joey: Well, yeah...

Monica: *Anyway.* (She waits until she has everyone's attention.) I had a hard time in London. My brother was getting married, my mother was driving me nuts, and some crazy guy thought I was Ross' mother. I was really down, and, and Chandler was there for me.

(Ross stands up again).

Ross: (to Monica) You were there?! That morning, when I came in, all happy to be getting married, you were there?

Monica: (in a small voice) Sort of.

Ross: Oh my God!

Chandler: Now hold on! It wasn't just some fling, something that didn't mean anything. It meant something. It meant alot. So when we got back here, we decided to--

Monica: We didn't want to tell you guys at first, since we knew it would be weird. Plus we didn't know how long it would last.

Rachel: Oh!

Monica: What?

Rachel: Suddenly it makes sense why you wouldn't go out with that gorgeous male nurse, at the hospital.

Phoebe: What?

Rachel: I got us dates with these hot male nurses, when you were having Frank and Alice's babies, and Monica didn't want--

Phoebe: I was in there, having babies, and you were making dates?! What is it with you and doctors?

(Rachel gasps, hurt.)

Chandler: I think we're getting off the track here. The point is, once we decided to keep it secret, there just never seemed to be any way to tell you guys.

Monica: And it seemed better that we keep it a secret. We both suck so much at relationships, and this one was going so well, we thought maybe it was because we were keeping it secret.

Ross: So why did you tell Joey?

Chandler: We didn't. He figured it out on his own.

Rachel: Joey did? *Our* Joey?

Joey: Hey!

Phoebe: So were you ever planning on telling us?

Monica: Yeah. I guess so. Maybe.

Chandler: We just didn't know how.

Monica: But now you know, so I guess there's no sense in pretending anymore.

Ross: Maybe some of us would prefer it if you went on pretending.

(Rachel glares at him.)

Rachel: Wait, Chandler, you said that you, ahem, loved Monica. Is that true?

Chandler: (looks as if he might make a joke out of it, or shrug it off. Then he just looks down at Monica and says simply:) Yes.

Monica: (softly, to Chandler) I love you, too.

Rachel, Joey, Frank Jr. and Phoebe: Ohhh!

(Chandler and Monica kiss, and the others except for Ross all smile dreamily. Rachel sees Ross frowning and smacks him lightly on the arm.)

Rachel: Come on. It's your sister and your best friend. They're happy, they're in love. Be happy for them.

Ross: (grumpily) I liked it better when his girlfriend was invisible.

(Chandler and Monica break the kiss, then stare into each other's eyes for a long moment. They embrace, and the camera lingers on them for a moment, before fading out.)

Closing Credits

[Scene: A New York street corner.]

(Phoebe and Frank Jr. stand in front of the van. The rest of the group, including Alice, stand off to one side. Three geeky high-school age kids work on setting up the cameras, lights and microphones.)

Alice: Oh, I hope this works out.

Rachel: How did you get the kids to do this?

Alice: I promised them an A in Home Ec if they'd help me out.

Ross: Very persuasive.

Joey: Hey, you know what line you should use in your commercial, Phoebs? (Phoebe looks up, curious.) If this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin' (He laughs at his own joke.)

Chandler: You've been wanting to say that all day, haven't you?

Joey: Yep.

(The others all exchange looks and roll their eyes. Chandler claps Joey on the shoulder.)

Kid: All right, then. Relaxi-Taxi commercial, take one! On five, four, three, two one!

(The lights all turn on, and the screen turns white, then fades out to...)