The One With The Joke

Teleplay by: Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen
Story by: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Transcribed by: Eric Aasen

[Scene: Central Perk, Chandler, Phoebe, Rachel and Monica are there. Ross walks in with a magazine in his hand.]

Ross: Hey, youíre not going to believe this. I made up a joke and sent it in to Playboy. They printed it!

Phoebe: I didnít know Playboy prints jokes.

Ross: Yeah, they print jokes, interviews, hard-hitting journalism. Itís not just about the pictures.

Monica: That didnít work on mom, itís not going to work on us.

Ross: (showing them the page) Here, check it out. Itís the first one, too.

(They all laugh indifferently, except Chandler, whoís a little angry.)

Chandler: That is funny. It was also funny when I made it up.

Ross: What?

Chandler: I made that joke up.

Ross: Uh, oh-oh, no you didnít. I did.

Chandler: Yes, I did. I told it to Dan at work, and he said it was the funniest joke heíd ever heard.

Ross: Hey, tell Dan, ĎThanks.í

(Rachel is looking at the magazine and laughing.)

Ross: What?

Rachel: Iím sorry, I was just reading the joke below it. Man, that one is funny. (Ross grabs the magazine away from her.)

Chandler: Monica, you remember me telling you that joke, right?

Monica: No.

Chandler: Seriously?

Monica: Well, you tell a lot of jokes!

Ross: Look, Chandler, itís my joke. But, hey, if it makes you feel any better they donít print the name, so it doesnít really matter who gets credit, right?

Chandler: Yeah, I guess.

Joey: (entering) Hey guys.

Chandler: (jumping up from his chair) Hey, Joey, Playboy printed my joke.

Ross: No, itís my joke, itís mine. You can call them, theyíll tell you.

Chandler: Itís my joke.

Ross: Itís my joke.

Joey: Whoa-whoa-whoa. Jokes? You guys know they have naked chicks in there, right?

Opening Credits

[Scene: Joeyís apartment, Joey is sitting at the counter as Chandler enters.]

Chandler: Dude, you have got to turn on Behind the Music. The band Heart is having a really tough time, and I think they may break up.

Joey: Letís go watch it at your place.

Chandler: Nah, Monicaís watching some cooking show. Come on, I donít want to miss when they were skinny.

Joey: Chandler, Chandler, yíknow what we should do? You and I should go out and get some new sunglasses.

Chandler: What? No, I want to watch this. (He turns on the television and the screen is completely covered in snow). Did your cable go out?

Joey: No, thatís VH-1. I gotta tell you, the music these kids listen to today . . . Itís like a lotta noise to me. I donít knowÖ

Chandler: Joey, why is your cable out?

Joey: I uh, oh! Because, uh, I havenít really paid the bill

Chandler: If you need money, will you please-please just let me loan you some money?

Joey: No, Chandler. Look, forget about it, okay? Look, I know things have been a little tight since Janine moved out. Oh, was she hot.

Chandler: Whoa ho.

Joey: I know! Yeah, but, look I can handle it. All right? Look, I can listen to the radio, huh? And Ross gave me this great book (holds up the Playboy magazine).

Chandler: (picks up the phone) All right, you want to see if the joke stealer will let us watch the show at his place?

Joey: Sure.

Chandler: (with phone to ear, obviously hearing no dial tone) Paid your phone bill?

Joey: Not so much.

[Scene: Monica and Chandler's, Monica and Rachel are on the couch looking at the Playboy magazine. When they hear someone coming, Monica goes to hide it under the sofa cushions.]

Phoebe: (entering) Hey.

Monica: (relieved) Itís only you.

Phoebe: Wh-wh-what are you doing?

Rachel: We are looking at a Playboy.

Phoebe: Oh, I want to look too! (She runs over and sits down and checks out a picture). Yikes!

Monica: So do you think that these picturesóAre, are they trying to tell a story?

Rachel: Oh, yeah, sure. I mean, like in the case of this young woman, she has lost her clothes, so she rides naked on the horse, sheís crying out, ĎWhere are they, where are they?í

Monica: Well, sheís not going to find them lying in the grass like that.

(They flip through the pages to another picture.)

Phoebe: Oh, yeah. Aw, remember the days when you used to go out to the barn, lift up your shirt, and bend over?

Rachel and Monica: Yeah.

Rachel: You see, now, I would date this girl. Sheís cute, sheís outdoorsy, you know, and she knows how to build a fire. I mean, thatís got to come in handy

Monica: Okay, Iíve got a question. If you had to pick one of us to date, who would it be?

Rachel: (thinks) I donít know.

Monica: Me neither.

Phoebe: Rachel.

Monica: What?!

Phoebe: I donít know. (Pause) Me neither.

[Scene: Central Perk, Joey, Chandler, and Ross are sitting on the couch.]

Joey: You forget how many great songs Heart had.

Chandler: Yeah.

Ross: You know, Barracuda was the first song I learned to play on the keyboard.

Chandler: So, you heard it, you repeated it, so that must mean you wrote it.

Joey: Oh, you guys, with this joke. I gotta say, I know I cracked up, but Iím not even sure I got it.

Ross: What, you didnít get it? The doctor is a monkey.

(He and Chandler crack up.)

Chandler: And monkeys canít write out prescriptions.

(He and Ross crack up again. Joey just sits there)

Chandler: (stops laughing, to Ross) You are not allowed to laugh at my joke.

Ross: Your joke? Well, I think Ďthe Hefí would disagree, which is why he sent me a check for one hundred ah-dollars.

Chandler: So, you stole my joke, and you stole my money.

Ross: Well, I was going to stick it in the ATM, but now I think Iíll show the sexy teller that I am a published writer.

Chandler: Well, she is going to know that you stole the joke.

Ross: Oh, what are you going to do, follow me down there?

Chandler: Yeah!

Ross: Well, Iím not going to go now anyway (he goes to sit down).

Chandler: Okay (he goes to sit down).

(Ross leaps out of his chair and runs out the door, with Chandler in hot pursuit.)

Gunther: (handing Joey the bill) Here you go.

Joey: Ah, Gunther, I canít pay for this right now because Iím not working, so Iíve had to cut down on some luxuries like uh, payiní for stuff.

Gunther: Well, if you want, you can work here.

Joey: Uh, I donít know. Ya see, itís just, see I was a regular on a soap opera yíknow? And to go from that to this, I justÖ Plus, Iíd have to wait on all my friends.

Gunther: Okay, but the moneyís good, plus you get to stare at Rachel as much as you want.

Joey: What?!

Gunther: Flexible hours.

Joey: Maybe I could be a waiter. Could I use the phone?

[Scene: Monica and Chandlerís bedroom, they are in bed together.]

Monica: (visibly upset) She picked Rachel. I mean, she tried to back out of it, but it was obvious. She picked Rachel.

Chandler: (visibly upset) He took my joke, he took it.

Monica: Itís wrong. You know what else is wrong? Phoebe picking Rachel.

Chandler: You know who else picked Rachel? Ross, and you know what else Ross did? He stole my joke. You know what? Iím going to get a joke journal. Yíknow? And document the date and time of every single one of my jokes.

Monica: Thatís a good idea.

Chandler: Yeah!

Monica: Do you know whatís a bad idea?

Chandler: Picking Rachel.

Monica: Thatís right. (A noise comes from the living room.) Did you hear something?

Chandler: Maybe itís the sound of Ross climbing into my brain and stealing my thoughts.

Monica: Itís coming from the living room.

(They go out to investigate, and find Joey wrapped in a blanket watching their television.)

Joey: (sheepishly) I finished my book. (Chandler and Monica slowly retreat back to bed.)

[Scene, Phoebe and Rachelís, theyíre sitting together on the couch.]

Monica: (entering) Hey, you guys.

Phoebe and Rachel: Hey.

Monica: (laughing) Oh, donít you guys look cute. You guys make such a cute couple.

Rachel: Monica, what are you doing?

Monica: (laughing harder) Nothing, Iím just trying to recreate some of the fun that we had at my place the other day. (To Phoebe) Remember, when you picked Rachel over me? That was funny.

Phoebe: I guess it was kinda funny.

Monica: (angrily) It wasnít funny at all! Why would you do that? Why didnít you pick me?

Phoebe: Fine. The reason that I was leaning a little bit more toward Rachel than you is just that youíre Ö just Ö kinda high maintenanceóOkay letís go to lunch!

Monica: That is completely untrue. You think Iím high maintenance? Okay, prove it. I want you to make a list and weíre going to go through it point by point!

Phoebe: No, okay, youíre right. Youíre easy-going. Youíre just not as easy-going as Rachel. Sheís just more flexible and-and mellow. Thatís all.

Rachel: (To Monica) Well, people are different.

Phoebe: Ya, you know, Rachel Ö sheíll do whatever you want. Yíknow, you can just walk all over her.

Rachel: What? Wait a minute. What are you saying, that Iím a pushover? Iím not a pushover.

Phoebe: Oh, okay, (laughing) youíre not a pushover.

Rachel: Oh my Ö you think Iím a pushover. Well wait, watch this, you know what? Youíre not invited to lunch. What do you think of that? I think thatís pretty strong, thatís what I think. Come on, Monica, letís go to lunch. (She leaves)

Monica: (to Phoebe) You start working on that list. (She grabs her coat and leaves, too.)

[Cut to the hallway.]

Rachel: I cannot believe her.

Monica: I know. Where do you wanna go eat?

Rachel: Oh, oh, I love that Japanese place.

Monica: Iím sick of Japanese. Weíre not going there.

Rachel: All right, wherever you wanna go is cool.

Monica: All right.

[Scene: Central Perk, Monica, Rachel, and Chandler are there as Ross enters and sees Gunther.]

Ross: (showing the Playboy magazine to Gunther) Oh, hey, Gunther, check this out.

(Gunther looks at the joke and laughs.)

Gunther: Yeah, that-that Chandler cracks me up.

(Ross begins to say something, realizes what Gunther just said, turns, and glares at Chandler. Chandler just shrugs it off.)

Joey: Hey Ross, listen, you want anything to drink, Ďcause Iím heading up there.

Ross: Uh, yeah, Iíll take a coffee. Thanks, man.

Joey: Sure. (To Monica and Rachel) Coffee? ĎCause Iím going up there.

Rachel: No.

Monica: No, thank you.

Joey: (to a table of strangers) You guys need anything, Ďcause Iím heading up there.

Woman: Iíd love an ice water.

Joey: You got it.

Monica: Joey, what are you doing?

Joey: Just being friendly. (He gives Monica a Ďwhatís wrong with you?í look and proceeds to walk behind the counter.)

Rachel: Joey, honey, I donít think youíre supposed to go back there.

Joey: Nah, itís okay. Right, Gunther? (Winks at him as if theyíre in on a secret together.)

Gunther: Donít wink at me. And put on your apron.

Joey: Okay, but I donít see you asking any other paying customers to put on aprons.

Monica: Joey, do you work here?

Joey: No.

Customer: Hey, waiter.

Joey: Yeah?

Commercial Break

[Scene: Central Perk, continued from earlier.]

Monica: Joey, whatís going on. What didnít you tell us you work here?

Joey: Itís kind of embarrassing, yíknow. I mean, I was an actor and now Iím a waiter. Itís supposed to go in the other direction.

Chandler: So is your apron. Youíre wearing it like a cape.

Joey: I mean, the jobís easy and the moneyís good, you know? I guess Iím going to be hanging out here anyway. I might as well get paid for it, right? I just feel kind of weird serving you guys.

Rachel: Come on, Joey, I did it and it was fine.

Ross: Yeah, why would it be weird? Hey, Joey, can I get some coffee?

Joey: Okay, I guess it doesnít seem that weird.

Ross: Seriously, I-I asked you before and you still havenít gotten it.

Joey: See, now itís weird again.

Chandler: I think itís great that you work here. Youíre going to make a lot of money, and hereís your first tip: Donít eat yellow snow. (He laughs, then picks up a pen, glares at Ross, and writes in his journal). Ah ha ha, 2:15, coffeehouse.

Rachel: Well, you know what? This is great. Finally, I have someone I can pass on my wisdom too. Let me tell you about a couple of things I learned while working at the coffeehouse. First of all, the customer is always right. (Joey nods.) A smile goes a long way. (Joey smiles) And if anyone is ever rude to you? Sneeze muffin.

Joey: Thanks, Rach. Look, you guys are just terrific. Yíknow? Now, how about clearing out of here so I can get some new customers. Itís all about turnover.

Ross: Joey, seriously, can I get my coffee?

Joey: Oh, Iím sorry, Ross. Iíll get it for you right now. And since I made you wait, Iíll toss in a free muffin.

(He looks at Rachel and winks, she gives him the thumbs-up sign.)

[Scene: Phoebe and Rachelís, Phoebe is sitting on the couch as Rachel and Monica enter.]

Rachel: Phoebe. We would like to talk to you for a second.

Phoebe: Okay.

Monica: So, maybe I am a little high maintenance. And maybe Rachel is a little bit of a pushover. But you know what we decided you are?

Rachel: Yes, we are very sorry to tell you this, but you, Phoebe, are flaky.

Monica: Hah!

Phoebe: That true, I am flaky.

Rachel: So, what, youíre just, youíre just okay with being flaky?

Phoebe: Yeah, totally.

Monica: Well, then, Iím okay with being high maintenance.

Rachel: Yeah, and I am okay with being a pushover.

Phoebe: Thatís great. Good for you guys.

Monica: I am not high maintenance!

Rachel: I am not a pushover!

Phoebe: Who said you were?

Monica and Rachel: You did!

Phoebe: Oh, Iím flaky. Iíll say anything.

[Scene: Central Perk, Joey is coming back from using the phone.]

Joey: Hey, Gunther. Can you uh, can you cover for me? I just got an audition.

Gunther: No, Iím leaving to get my hair dyed.

Joey: Really?! I like your natural color. Come on man, itís a great part. Look, check it out. Iím the lead guyís best friend and I wait for him in this bar and save his seat. Listen-listen. ĎIím sorry, that seatís saved.í

Gunther: Thatís the whole part?

Joey: Okay, maybe heís not his best friend, but Ö

Gunther: Okay, Iíll see you in an hour.

Joey: Oh, man, I could totally get that part. ĎIím sorry, that seat is taken.í

Patron: Oh, excuse me.

Joey: No, no, I didnít mean you. But, you believed me, huh?

Patron: I believed you were saving this seat for someone.

Joey: So, youíd hire me, right?

Patron: For what?

Joey: Exactly! All right, everybody, listen up. The coffeehouse is going to be closed for about an hour.

Customers: Huh? What?

Joey: Yeah, itís for the kids. To keep the kids off drugs. Itís a very important issue in this monthís Playboy. Iím sure you all read about it.

[Scene: Monica and Chandler's, Chandler and Ross are both pouting and sitting on the couch.]

Ross: Itís my joke.

Chandler: Itís my joke.

Ross and Chandler: Itís my joke.

Ross: Yíknow, I donít think weíre going to settle this.

Chandler: Letís have Monica decide.

Ross: Yeah!

Chandler: Yeah!

Ross: Hey Mon.

Chandler: Mon, get out here!

Ross: Monica! (She appears, not sure why she was summoned.)

Chandler: Okay, okay. You have to help us decide whose joke this is.

Monica: Why do I have to decide?

Chandler: Because youíre the only one that can be fair.

Ross: Yeah.

Monica: I canít be fair. Youíre my boyfriend.

Ross: Yeah, but Iím your brother. Weíre family. Thatís the most important thing in the world.

Chandler: (to Ross) Donít try to sway her. (To Monica) (Softly) Iím your only chance to have a baby. Okay, letís go.

Ross: Weíll each tell you how we came up with the joke and then you decide which one of us is telling the truthóme.

Monica: Okay, Chandler, you go first.

Chandler: Okay, I thought of the joke two months ago at lunch with Steve.

Monica: Oh, wait, is he the guy I met at Christmas?

Chandler: Can I finish my story?!

Monica: Do you want me to pick you?!

Ross: See, I would never snap at you like that.

(Chandler motions to Monica that heíll give her two babies.)

Monica: Continue.

Chandler: So Steve said he had to go to the doctor. And Steveís doctorís name is Doctor Muppy. So I said, ĎDoctor Monkey?í And that is how the whole Doctor Monkey thing came up. (He slams his feet up on the table to emphasize his point.)

Ross: Are you kidding? Okay, look. I-I studied evolution. Remember, evolution? Monkey into man? Plus, Iím a doctor, and I had a monkey. Iím Doctor Monkey!

Chandler: Iím not arguing with that.

Monica: All right, Iíve heard enough. Iíve made my decision.

(Both Chandler and Ross are eager to hear her decision.)

Monica: You are both idiots. The joke is not funny, and itís offensive to women, and doctors, and monkeys! You shouldnít be arguing over who gets credit, you should be arguing over who gets blamed for inflicting this horrible joke upon the world! Now let it go! The joke sucks!

(Monica leaves the room)

Ross: Itís your joke.

Chandler: Is not.

[Scene: Central Perk, Rachel is sitting at a table and Phoebe is on the couch. Chandler and Monica can be seen outside, sheís lecturing him, and pushes him inside. He then nods to Rachel, and is obviously counting off the seconds in his head and then Monica makes a grand enterance.]

Monica: Hi, Chandler. There you are.

Chandler: Hi, oh hi.

Monica: Hey, itís Phoebe and Rachel. Um, why donít you tell them what you were telling me earlier about me not being high maintenance?

(Rachel and Phoebe exchange looks.)

Chandler: (starts to recite a rehearsed speech) Monica is a self-sufficient, together lady. (Pause.) Being with her has been like being on a vacation. And what may be perceived as high maintenance is merely attention to detail andó(He falters and Monica prompts him.)ógenerosity of spirit.

Rachel: Wow, you know what? That is the best fake speech I think Iíve ever heard.

Phoebe: Really? Iíve heard better.

Monica: Wait, wait, he came up with that himself. Tell them, Chandler.

Chandler: (To Chandler) Iím out of words. Should I just say the whole thing again?

Monica: Look, I am not high maintenance. I am not. Chandler!

Chandler: (pauses as he struggles with what he has to say) Youíre a little high maintenance.

Monica: Ahhh! You are on my list.

Chandler: Iím sorry. Youíre not easy-going, but youíre passionate, and thatís good. And when you get upset about the little things, I think that Iím pretty good about making you feel better about that. And thatís good too. So, they can say that youíre high maintenance, but itís okay, because I like Ö maintaining you.

Monica: (embarrassed) (To Phoebe and Rachel) I didnít even tell him to say that. (They hug). All right youíre off my list.

Chandler: (happily) Iím off the list. (Sits on the couch.)

Monica: (sits next to him) Phoebe, itís okay that you donít want me to be your girlfriend because I have the best boyfriend.

Phoebe: (to Monica) Yíknow, suddenly I find you very attractive.

(Joey enters.)

Chandler: Hey, buddy boy, howíd the audition go?

Joey: Not good, no. I didnít get the part, and I lost my job here, so Ö

Phoebe: Wow! That is a bad audition.

Rachel: How-how did you lose your job here?

Joey: Well, I had the audition but Gunther said I had to stay here and be in charge so he could go get his hair dyed. So, I went anyway, and then he fired me.

Rachel: He left work in the middle of the day to do a personal errand and left you in charge when youíve been working here two days? Thatís not, thatís not right.

Joey: Yeah, what are ya gonna do?

Rachel: Joey, you canít let him get away with that. Ya know what, Iím not going to let him get away with that. Iím going to say something to himóNo, I really shouldnít say anythingóNo, I should say something to him. (Goes to the counter) Gunther, I want you to give Joey his job back. That is really not fair that you have to fire himÖ

Gunther: Okay.

Rachel: What?

Gunther: He can have his job back.

Rachel: Thatís right, he can have his job back. Iím glad we got that all straightened out. There you go, Joey, you got your job back.

Joey: Thatís great. Thanks Rach.

Rachel: Yeah, pretty nice, huh? Now whoís a pushover?

Phoebe: (returning from the bathroom) Rach, youíre in my seat.

Rachel: Oh, Iím sorry. (Gets up and moves.)

Ending Credits

[Scene: Monica and Chandler's, Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel are sitting at the kitchen table, talking.]

Phoebe: Hey, I never got to hear who you guys would pick to be your girlfriend.

Monica: I pick you, Phoebe.

Rachel: Oh, yeah. Definitely you, Pheebs.

Phoebe: Yeah, well, I kinda thought.

(Phoebe gets up from the table, and while her back is turned, Rachel and Monica indicate via sign language that they each would have picked the other.)

(Joey, Chandler and Ross enter.)

Chandler: Hey.

Rachel: Hey. Oh, I have a question. If-if-if one of you had to pick one of the other two guys to go out with, who would you pick?

Ross: No way.

Joey: Iím not answering that.

Chandler: Joey! (Pause as they all stare at him.) No way. Iím not answering that.


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