[Scene: Central Perk. The whole gang is there, Ross is showing pictures of his new baby boy, Ben, to the group.]
Ross : And here’s little Ben nodding off…
Monica : Awww, look at Aunt Monica’s little boy!
Phoebe : Oh, look, he’s got Ross’s haircut!
Rachel : Oh, let me see! [grabs picture] Oh, God, is he just the sweetest thing? You must just want to kiss him all over!
[Ross is practically drooling over Rachel at this point.]
Ross : [quietly] That would be nice.
[Chandler, annoyed with Ross’s fawning, makes a ‘pfft’ noise.]
Rachel : Pardon?
Chandler : Nothing, just a little extra air in my mouth. Pffft. Pffffffft. [walks over to where Joey is seated]
[Joey is looking at his check.]
Joey : Hey, Chan, can you help me out here? I promise I’ll pay you back.
Chandler : Oh, yeah, right, OK… inlcuding the waffles last week, you now owe me… 17 jillion dollars.
Joey : I will, really. I’ll pay you back this time.
Chandler : [sigh]… And where’s this money coming from? [gives money to Joey]
Joey : Well… I’m helping out down at the NYU Med School with some… research.
Ross : [overhearing] What kind of research?
Joey : Oh, just, y’know…. science.
Ross : Science. Yeah, I think I’ve heard of that. [everyone’s interest is piqued, they all look over]
Joey : [sigh]… It’s a fertility study.
Monica : Oh, Joey, please tell me you’re only donating your time.
Joey : Alright, come on you guys, it’s not that big a deal. Really… I mean, I just go down there every other day and… make my contribution to the project. Hey, hey, but at the end of two weeks, I get seven hundred dollars.
Ross : Hey.
Phoebe : Wow, ooh, you’re gonna be making money hand over fist!
[Scene: Monica’s apartment. Monica and Phoebe are preparing for a barbecue for Rachel’s birthday.]
Monica : OK, we got the cole slaw, we got the buns…
Phoebe : We’ve got the ground-up flesh of formerly cute cows and turkeys, ew… [hands meat to Monica]
[Chandler and Joey enter with charcoal.]
Chandler : [in a deep voice] Men are here.
Joey : We make fire. Cook meat.
Chandler : Then put out fire by peeing, no get invited back.
Monica/Phoebe : Ewww!
Monica : Oh Joey, Melanie called, said she’s gonna be late.
Joey : Oh, OK.
Phoebe : So how are things going with you two? Is she becoming your [provocatively] special someone?
Joey : I don’t know, she’s, uh…. she’s pretty great.
Monica : Yeah? What does she think of your little science project?
Joey : What, you think I’m gonna tell a girl I like that I’m also seeing a cup?
Monica : Man’s got a point.
Joey : Well, the tough thing is, she really wants to have sex with me.
Chandler : Crazy bitch.
Joey : Yeah, well, I still got a week left to go in the program, and according to the rules, if I want to get the money I’m not allowed to conduct any… ersonal experiments, if you know what I mean.
Monica : Joey… we always know what you mean.
[Time lapse. Chandler and Joey are making the fire, Monica and Phoebe are inside. Ross enters, carrying luggage.]
Phoebe : Hey.
Monica : Hey.
Ross : Hey. [Phoebe sees his bags]
Phoebe : How long did you think this barbecue was gonna last?
Ross : I’m going to China.
Phoebe : Jeez, you say one thing, and…
Monica : You’re going to China?
Ross : Yeah, i-it’s for the museum. Someone found a bone, we want the bone, but they don’t want us to have the bone, so I’m going over there to try to persuade them to give us the bo–it’s–it’s a whole big bone thing. Anyway, I’m gonna be gone for like, uh… like a week, so, uh, if you wanna reach me, y-you can’t. So here’s my itinerary [hands a sheet of paper to Monica]. Um… here’s a picture of me… [hands it to Monica]
Phoebe : Oh, let me see! [takes the picture]
Ross : [to Monica]: Could you take it to Carol’s every now and then, and show it to Ben, just so he doesn’t forget me?
Monica : Yeah.
[Phoebe puts the picture of Ross up to her face.]
Phoebe : Hi, Ben. I’m your father. I am… the head. Aaaaaahhhh…. [puts picture down, sees Ross staring at her] Alright, this barbecue is gonna be very fun.
Ross : Hey, is Rachel here? Um, I wanted to wish her a happy birthday before I left.
Monica : Oh no, she’s out having drinks with Carl.
Ross : Oh. [pause] Hey, who’s Carl?
Monica : You know, that guy she met at the coffeehouse.
Ross : No.
Phoebe : Oh, well, see, there’s this guy she met at the–
Ross : At the coffeehouse, right.
Phoebe : So you do know who he is! [laughs, Ross stares at her] Sorry.
Ross : OK, I’m gonna go say goodbye to the guys.
Phoebe : Oh, hey, y’know what? Tell them that bone story.
[Ross goes outisde on the balcony.]
Ross : Hi.
Joey : Hey!
Chandler : Hey!
Ross : [sigh]….I have to go to China.
Joey : The country?
Ross : No no, this big pile of dishes in my mom’s breakfront. Do you guys know who Carl is?
Chandler : Uh, let’s see… Alvin… Simon… Theodore…. no.
Ross : Well, Rachel’s having drinks with him tonight.
Joey : Oh no! How can she do that when she’s never shown any interest in you?!?
Chandler : Forget about her.
Joey : He’s right, man. Please. Move on. Go to China. Eat Chinese food.
Chandler : Course there, they just call it food.
Ross : Yeah… I guess. I don’t–I don’t know. Alright, just… just give her this for me, OK? [gives Chandler a gift for Rachel]
Joey : Listen, buddy, we’re just looking out for you.
Ross : I know.
Joey : We want you to be happy. And I may only have a couple beers in me, but… I love you, man. [Joey gives Ross a hug]
Chandler : I’m still on my first. I just think you’re nice.
[Time lapse. Melanie, Joey’s girlfriend, is there with Joey, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel. Ross is gone.]
Melanie : Anyway, that’s when me and my friends started this whole fruit basket business. We call ourselves ‘The Three Basketeers.’
Joey : Like the three musketeers, only with fruit.
Chandler : [sarcastic] Ooooh. [looks dumbfounded at Joey’s stupidity]
Monica : [gets up] OK, how does everybody like their burgers?
Rachel : Oh, no, no, no. Presents first. Food later. [walks into living room]
[Everyone follows Rachel to the living room. Monica pulls Joey aside.]
Monica : Hey, hold on there, tiger. How’s it going? How you holding up?
Joey : Well, not so good. She definitely thinks tonight is the night we’re gonna… complete the transaction, if you know what I–
[Monica rolls her eyes.]
Joey : Then you do. Heh, heh.
Monica : So, uh, have you ever thought about being there for her?
Joey : What do you mean?
Monica : Y’know, just be there for her.
[Long pause… Joey looks confused.]
Joey : Not following you.
Monica : Think about it.
[They both walk over to where Rachel is opening her gifts. Rachel sees her first gift is a fruit basket.]
Rachel : OK, I’m guessing this is from…
Rachel : Well, thank you, Melanie.
Chandler : [pointing out a gift] OK, this one right here is from me.
Rachel : [picks it up] OK… ah, it’s light… [shakes it]…it rattles… it’s… [opens it] Travel Scrabble! Oooohhh, thank you! [she gives it back to him]
[Chandler looks dejected. Rachel picks up another gift.]
Rachel : This one’s from Joey… feels like a book. Thinks it’s a book… feels like a book. And…[opens it]…it’s a book!
Phoebe : Oh, it’s Dr. Seuss!
Joey : [to Rachel]: That book got me through some tough times.
Melanie : There is a little child inside this man!
Chandler : Yes, the doctors say if they remove it, he’ll die.
[Rachel picks up the next gift.]
Rachel : Who’s this from?
Chandler : Oh, that’s Ross’s.
Rachel : Oh… [opens it]… [sees it is a pin] Oh my God. He remembered.
Phoebe : Remembered what?
Rachel : It was like months ago. We were walking by this antique store, and I saw this pin in the window, and I told him it was just like one my grandmother had when I was a little girl. Oh! I can’t believe he remembered!
Chandler : Well, sure, but can you play it on a plane? [pats his Travel Scrabble game]
Phoebe : Oh, it’s so pretty. This must have cost him a fortune.
Monica : I can’t believe he did this.
Chandler : Come on, Ross? Remember back in college, when he fell in love with Carol and bought her that ridiculously expensive crystal duck?
[Everyone looks at him. He realizes he just spilled the beans about Ross’s crush on Rachel.]
Rachel : What did you just say?
Chandler : [panicked] ahem… um… Crystal duck.
Rachel : No, no, no…. the, um, the… ‘love’ part?
Chandler : [stuttering incoherently] F-hah…. flennin….
Rachel : Oh…. my God.
Chandler : [rubbing his temples] Oh, no no no no no….
Joey : [pats Chandler on the leg] That’s good, just keep rubbing your head. That’ll turn back time.
[Scene: Same as before, a few moments later.]
Rachel : I mean, this is unbelievable.
Phoebe : I know. This is really, really huge.
Chandler : No it’s not. It’s small. It’s tiny. It’s petite. It’s wee.
Phoebe : Nuh-uh. I don’t think any of our lives are ever gonna be the same ever again.
Chandler : OK, is there a mute button on this woman?
Monica : I think this is so great! I mean, you and Ross! D-did you have any idea?
Rachel : No! None! I mean, my first night in the city, he mentioned something about asking me out, but nothing ever happened, so I just… [to Joey]: W-well, what else did he say? I mean, does he, like, want to go out with me?
Joey : Well, given that he’s desperately in love with you, he probably wouldn’t mind getting a cup of coffee or something.
Rachel : Ross? All this time? Well, I’ve got to talk to him. [gets up to leave]
Chandler : [quickly] H-He’s in China!
Joey : The country.
Monica : No, no, wait. [checks Ross’s itinerary] His flight doesn’t leave for another forty-five more minutes.
Chandler : What about the time difference?
Monica : From here to the airport?
Chandler : Yes! [Rachel walks towards door] You’re never gonna make it!
Monica : Rachel, what’re you gonna say to him?
Rachel : I-I-I don’t know.
Chandler : Well then maybe you shouldn’t go.
Joey : He’s right, cause if you’re just gonna, like, break his heart, that’s the kind of thing that can wait.
Monica : Yeah, but if it’s good news, you should tell him now.
Rachel : I don’t know. Maybe I’ll know when I see him.
Phoebe : Here, look, alright, does this help?
[Phoebe gets up, holds the picture of Ross up to her face.]
Rachel : Noooo… look, all I know is that I cannot wait a week until I see him. I mean, this is just too big. Y’know, I just, I’ve just gotta talk to him. I… I gotta… OK, I’ll see you later. [opens door]
Chandler : Rachel, I love you! Deal with me first! [she leaves]
[Scene: Airport. Ross has headphones on, and is listening to a ‘How To Speak Chinese’ tape. Occasionally, he makes an outburst in Chinese in accordance with the tape. He is getting on the jetway. The flight attendant is there.]
Ross : [something in Chinese]
Flight attendant : Alright!
Ross : Ni-chou chi-ma! [walks onto jetway]
[Rachel runs into the airport, trying to catch Ross, moving people out of the way.]
Rachel : Ross! Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me….
[Rachel gets up to the jetway.]
Flight attendant : Hi!
Rachel : Hi.
Flight attendant : May I see your boarding pass?
Rachel : Oh, no, no, I don’t have one. I just need to talk to my friend.
Flight attendant : Oh, oooh. I’m sorry. You are not allowed on the jetway unless you have a boarding pass.
Rachel : No, I know, but I–he just went on. He’s right there, he’s got the blue jacket on, I… can I j-just…
Flight attendant : No no no! Federal regulations!
Rachel : OK, alright, OK, um… then could you please, uh… just give him a message for me? Please? This is very important.
Flight attendant : Alright. What’s the message?
Rachel : Uh… I don’t know.
[Scene: On the jetway. The flight attendant enters, walks past Ross, and approaches an older man with his wife who is also wearing a blue jacket.]
Flight attendant : Sir? Sir? Excuse me, sir? Uh… I have a message for you.
Man : [confused] What?
Flight attendant : It’s from Rachel. She said that she loved the present, and she will see you when you get back.
Man : [to wife]: Toby… Oh, for God’s sake, I don’t know what she’s talking about! There’s no Rachel! Don’t give me that deep freeze.
[Scene: Joey’s bedroom. He and Melanie are in bed together.]
Melanie : Mmmmmm… Oh, Joey, Joey, Joey… I think I blacked out there for a minute!
Joey : Heh, heh. It was nothin’.
Melanie : Well, now we’ve gotta find something fun for you! [she starts kissing his chest]
Joey : [panicked] Uhhh.. y’know what? Forget about me. Let’s, uh… let’s give you another turn.
Melanie : [surprised] M-Me again?
Joey : Sure! Why not?
Melanie : Boy, somebody’s gonna get a big fruit basket tomorrow.
[Joey starts to kiss her.]
Melanie : Oooh, I gotta tell you… you are nothing like I thought you would be.
Joey : How do you mean?
Melanie : I don’t know, I-I guess I just had you pegged as one of those guys who’re always ‘me, me, me.’ But you… you’re a giver. You’re like the most generous man I ever met. I mean… you’re practically a woman.
[Scene: Monica’s apartment. Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel are there. Monica is holding the wrapping paper from one of Rachel’s gifts.]
Monica : Uh, so, uh, Rach, uh… do you wanna save this wrapping paper, I mean, it’s only a little bit torn… so are you gonna go for it with Ross or should I just throw it out?
Rachel : I don’t know. I don’t know… I thought about it all the way there, and I thought about it all the way back… and, uh, oh, you guys, y’know, it’s Ross. Y’know what I mean? I mean, it’s Ross.
Phoebe/Monica : Sure.
Rachel : I don’t know, I mean, this is just my initial gut feeling… but I’m thinking… oh, I’m thinking it’d be really great.
Monica : Oh my God, me too! Oh! Oh, we’d be like friends-in-law! Y’know what the best part is? The best part is that you already know everything about him! I mean, it’s like starting on the fifteenth date!
Phoebe : Yeah, but, y’know, it’s… it would be like starting on the fifteenth date.
Monica : Another good point.
Phoebe : No, I mean, I mean, when you’re at the fifteenth date, y’know, you’re already in a very relationshippy place. Y’know, it’s… you’re committed.
Rachel : [confused] Huh?
Phoebe : Well, I mean, then what happens if it doesn’t work out?
Monica : Why isn’t it working out?
Rachel : I don’t know… sometimes it doesn’t.
Monica : Is he not cute enough for you?
Rachel : No!
Monica : Does he not make enough money?
Rachel : No, I’m just….
Phoebe : Maybe there’s someone else.
Rachel : Wha–
Monica : Is there? Is there someone else?
Rachel : No! There is.. there is noone else!
Monica : Then why the hell are you dumping my brother?!?
[Scene: Chandler and Joey’s apartment. Chandler is eating breakfast, Joey quietly opens his bedroom door.]
Chandler : Hey, big–
Joey : Shhhh!
Chandler : [quietly] –spender.
Joey : She’s still asleep.
Chandler : So how’d it go?
Joey : Oh, it was amazing. You know how you always think you’re great in bed?
Chandler : The fact that you’d even ask that question shows how little you know me.
Joey : Well, it’s like, last night, I couldn’t do the thing that usually makes me great. So I had to do all this other stuff. And the response I got… man, oh man, it was like a ticker tape parade!
Chandler : Yes, I know, as it happens my room is very very close to the parade route.
Joey : It was amazing! And not just for her… uh-uh. For me, too. It’s like, all of a sudden, I’m blind. But all my other senses are heightened, y’know? It’s like… I was able to appreciate it on another level.
Chandler : I didn’t know you had another level.
Joey : I know! Neither did I!
[Scene: Monica’s apartment, one week later. Monica is seated, Rachel comes out of her bedroom.]
Monica : Hey, great skirt! Birthday present?
Rachel : Yeah.
Monica : Oh, from who?
Rachel : From you. I exchanged the blouse you got me.
Monica : Well, it’s the thought. Hey, doesn’t Ross’s flight get in in a couple hours? At gate 27-B?
Rachel : Uh, yeah. Uh, Monica, y’know, honey, I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve decided this–this whole Ross thing, it’s just not a good idea.
Monica : Oh, why?
Rachel : Because, I feel like I wouldn’t just be going out with him. I would be going out with all of you. Oh, and there would just be all this pressure, and I don’t wanna–
Monica : [gets up] No, no, no, no, no, no pressure, no pressure!
Rachel : Monica, nothing has even happened yet, and you’re already so…
Monica : I am not ‘so’! OK, I was a teensy bit weird at first, but… I’ll be good. I promise.
[Door buzzer goes off. Rachel answers it.]
Rachel : Who is it?
Voice : It’s me, Carl.
Rachel : C’mon up.
Monica : Behind my brother’s back? [Rachel glares at her] … is exactly the kind of crazy thing you won’t be hearing from me.
[Scene: Chandler and Joey’s apartment. Chandler is seated, and the apartment is filled with baskets of fruit. Joey enters, check in hand.]
Joey : Seven hundred bucks!
Chandler : Alright, you did it! Do we have any fruit?
Joey : Man, hell of a two weeks, huh? Y’know what, though? I really feel like I learned something.
Chandler : Really? So, you’re gonna stick with this ‘it’s all for her’ thing?
Joey : What, are you crazy? When a blind man gets his sight back, does he walk around like this? [Joey closes his eyes and walks around with arms spread.]
[Scene: The balcony of Monica’s apartment. Rachel is having drinks with her date, Carl.]
Carl : I’m just sayin’, if I see one more picture of Ed Begley, Jr. in that stupid electric car, I’m gonna shoot myself! I mean, don’t get me wrong… I’m not against environmental issues per se…. it’s just that guy!
[Rachel looks bored. At this point, Ross–a figment of Rachel’s imagination– shows up on the balcony and starts talking to her.]
Ross : I can’t believe you’d rather go out with him than me.
Rachel : Would you excuse me, please? I’m trying to have a date here.
Ross : Fine, just stop thinking about me.
[She tries, and Ross disappears momentarily. He reappears, standing closer to her.]
Ross : Can’t do it, can you?
Rachel : So I’m thinking about you. So what?
Ross : I don’t get it. What do you see in this guy, anyway?
Rachel : Well… he happens to be a very nice… guy….
Carl : I mean, come on, buddy, get a real car!
Ross : Rachel, come on. Give us a chance.
Rachel : Ross, it’s too hard.
Ross : No, no, no… why, because it might get weird for everyone else? Who cares about them. This is about us. Look, I-I’ve been in love with you since, like, the ninth grade.
Rachel : Ross, you’re like my best friend.
Ross : I know.
Rachel : If we broke up, and I lost you…
Ross : Whoa, whoa, whoa. What makes you think we’re gonna break up?
Rachel : Well, have you been involved with someone where you haven’t broken up?
Ross : [pause] No. But… it only has to happen once. Look, you and I both know we are perfect for each other, right? I mean… so, the only question is… are you attracted to me?
Rachel : I don’t know… I mean, I’ve never looked at you that way before.
Ross : Well, start looking.
[They kiss. Ross walks away, and then fades out.]
Rachel : Wow.
Carl : Exactly! And you just know I’m gonna be the guy caught behind this hammerhead in traffic!
Rachel : Right! You’re right!
Carl : Heh… y’know?
Rachel : You know what?
Carl : What?
Rachel : I forgot… I am supposed to pick up a friend at the airport. I am so sorry! I’m so… if you want to stay, and finish your drinks, please do…. [gives him her drink] I mean–I’m sorry. I-I-I gotta go. I’m sorry.
Carl : But…
[Scene: Airport. Madonna’s Take A Bow plays in the background. Rachel waits at the gate with flowers.]
Rachel : [sifting through crowd] Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, excuse me, sorry. Hi.
[Scene: Jetway. The old man who the flight attendant delivered Rachel’s message to gets off the plane, his wife still upset with him.]
Man : For God’s sake, will you let it go? There’s no Rachel!
[A Chinese woman getting off the plane drops one of her bags. Ross gets off next.]
Ross : Oh, hey, hey, I got that.
[Ross picks up the bag… then he and the woman (Julie) kiss.]
Julie : Oh, thanks, sweetie.
Ross : No problem. I cannot wait for you to meet my friends.
Julie : Really?
Ross : Yeah.
Julie : You don’t think they’ll judge and ridicule me?
Ross : No, no, they will. I just… uh…
Ross/Julie : Can’t wait.
Ross : Come on, they’re gonna love you.
[Scene: Close-up of Rachel, eagerly awaiting Ross’s arrival… not knowing he is getting off the plane with another woman.]