The One With The Toothpaste Routine

an original fan-fic by Michael Escritt.


Welcome to my first fan-fic, 'The One With The Toothpaste Routine'. I hope to make it the first of many contributions to the site, hence my 'Episode One' heading, as any subsequent fics I write will have some line of continuity kept throughout. Please note that I am an English fan and the last episode we've had over here to date is 'The One Where Ross Can't Flirt' so bear with me if any references I make seem nonsensical. I hope you enjoy my debut effort. Part two will be out shortly. Please send me any comments, good or bad to PAUL@ESCRITT.FREESERVE.CO.UK' . Anyway, on with the show!


[Monica & Rachel's Apartment, day. All but Phoebe are sat around the coffee table, eating and watching a Trident advert on TV.]

Chandler: So what's with the toothpastes?

Monica: What do you mean?

Chandler: How can it always be new and improved? How clean can teeth get? How many different fluorides are there? And...and if, say, there's been two hundred improvements made with the toothpaste industry since it began...

Rachel: What? Two hundred? Get out!

Chandler: Ok, it's an estimate but...

Ross: You know, they put rock in that.

[All stare blankly at Ross.]

Chandler: Whatever, but to get back to my original poi...

Joey: They put rock in the toothpaste?

Chandler: Yeah, that's really great but...

[Phoebe enters.]

Phoebe: Hi! Oh, hey, guess what!

[Chandler throws his hands up in despair.]

All: What?

Phoebe: Ok, I was just playing my stuff in the coffee house, and this suity guy approached me with a briefcase and asked me if I wanted to audition for Sony Records! I've got an audition!

All: Wow! That's great! Etc...

Rachel: So when is it? Where have you to go?

Phoebe: Well, he said he'd come and see me again on Tuesday at Central Perk and bring his manager! Isn't this great? Sony records!

Chandler: Yeah, alright, but going back to the toothpaste...

Fade to:

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Scene Two.

[Ross' apartment, same day, later. Joey, Chandler & Ross are stood around talking.]

Joey: Can you believe she got an audition? I mean, I don't want to sound down on Phoebe, but her music, it... well... it...

Ross: We know.

Chandler (scoffs): Oh, yeah right. Everyone's a critic!

Ross: What's that supposed to mean?

Chandler: Oh, excuse me Mister The-Helicopter-Sounds-On-My-Keyboard-Are-On-Another-Disk!

[Joey laughs. Ross shoots him a supremely dirty look. Joey stops immediately and stares at the ground.]

Ross (hurt): Do like my...[He looks to be in shock]...ok, I think I have to sit down.

[Joey pulls over a chair. Ross sits down.]

Ross: I....I just can't believe it!

Chandler (realising he's put his foot in it): I never said I didn't like your music! Joey, did I say that?

[Joey looks confused. Chandler mouths 'No you didn't Chandler.' Joey doesn't get it.]

Chandler: I never said that. I'm sorry Ross, I was just being jealous of your....undeniable talent and.... musical flair.

Ross (perking up): Really? I mean, you really think I'm that good?

Joey: Oh, your just...just....

Ross: Wow! Hey, maybe I'll go along to that audition! Show them my stuff!

[On Joey & Chandler's panicked looks we cut to:

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Scene Three.

[Int.Chandler & Joey's. They enter.]

Joey: You had to praise him didn't you! You couldn't just tell him he stinks!

Chandler (defensive): How could I? What was I supposed to? Wha-?

Joey: Well congratulations! You've completely flushed out Phoebe's big chance! If Ross turns up and plays there she'll be ruined!

Chandler: Oh come on....she didn't really have a big chance did she?

Joey: There's a cult market out there, someone's got to get her!

Chandler: But maybe it'll work the other way! Maybe Ross is so... so phenomenally bad that he'll make Phoebe look...

Joey: Once Ross starts up they won't even stick around for Phoebe!

Chandler: Oh my God! We've got to stop him! But what can we do?

----------------------------------------------------------------------= ----------

Scene Four:

[A dead Manhattan street, late night. It's raining quite heavily. Cue 'Mission Impossible' theme tune as two men with baseball caps, one carrying a tool box, run into shot from around the corner. We zoom in on their faces- it's Joey and Chandler.]

Chandler: I can't believe we're doing this.

Joey: Ssshhh!

Chandler: But...!

Joey: Ssshhhh!!!

[They carry on running until they come to the outside of Ross' apartment building. Chandler has a key. They, slowly, quietly enter in. The music fades out as they continue in through the hall and up the stairs.]

Chandler (whispering): You really think this is going to work?

[Joey doesn't answer. He puts down the tool box, pulls out another key and they silently enter. Music returns. They are in the main room. All lights are down. Ross is asleep in his bedroom.]

Joey (whispering, indicates utility closet.): I think it's in here.

[They open the closet to reveal the keyboard. They pull it out.]

Chandler (whispering): Ok, I've got it.

[They set it down. Joey opens up the tool box again and pulls out a screwdriver. Chandler turns the keyboard face down and Joey unscrews the back. He puts the screwdriver on the floor. It bangs.]

Chandler (panicky): Shhh!!!!

Joey: Shhhhhhhh!!!!

[We pan over to Ross in bedroom. He fidgets around, half asleep, then shakes his head and drifts back off. Pan back to main room.]

[Joey has got out some wire-cutters. He sets about savaging the keyboard. When he is finished they screw the back back on and replace the keyboard back in the closet. The music reaches a climax.]

Song V.O: Mission accomplished.

Cut to:

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Scene Five.

[Int.Central Perk, Tuesday night. The gang except Ross, and the record producer are stood by the bar eagerly looking on to the stage. Gunther comes on and speaks in to a microphone.]

Gunther: Ladies and gentlemen, before the main event, please welcome the unique musical stylings of Mr. Ross Geller!

[Ross enters carrying his keyboard. He puts it on a stand on stage, and sits behind with his headphones on, ready to play. Audience applaud.]

Ross: Thankyou.

[He turns the keyboard on and begins. The first few notes play out. Chandler and Joey look at each other shocked, then smoke begins to billow out from the back of the instrument. They are relieved.]

Phoebe: Oh my God! What am I supposed to do? I lost my support act! I can't go on now, I'm not ready!

Monica: Chandler!

Chandler: What?!

Rachel: Yeah! Go on up there, be funny!

Chandler (nervous): I can't do that... I....

[Ross is leaving the stage. Monica approaches Gunther to ask if Chandler can go on in replacement.]

Chandler: No! Please, don't make me do this!

Phoebe: I'll let you finish the toothpaste routine.

Gunther: Ladies and Gentlemen, we're experiencing technical difficulties, but we have a replacement -- please welcome of very funny man, Chandler Bing!

Chandler: Oh my God.

[Rachel gives him a helping hand on stage.]

Rachel: Knock 'em out.

[The audience applaud.]

Chandler (stuttering): Hi....I....Well....So I was thinking about toothpaste the other day and all the improvements they've made.....

We fade out.

----------------------------------------------------------------------= ----------

Scene Six.

[Int.Central Perk, later. Phoebe has finished her piece. The audience clap unenthusiastically. She knows she's bombed. She approaches the gang.]

Phoebe: Yeah, I know. Maybe this just wasn't my break. I was just so nervous.

Chandler: Tell me about it! I never want to go through with that ever again.

[The producer approaches.]

Producer: Don't be so hard on yourself.

Phoebe: Mm. Maybe next time huh?

Producer: Exactly. But you [he indicates Chandler], the comic? You have great potential. My brother works for Mac, the touring company. Someone like you could be pretty hot property under the right management! We'll be in touch.

On Chandler's frozen expression: